MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — Officers and their families lined the street by Madison High School on Saturday, as people in cars, trucks, tractors and even on horses thanked them for what they do during a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Parade”.
“We were trying to figure out the best way to have our presence in front of all of the different law enforcement entities here,” organizer Troy Keyes said. “We have the sheriff’s department, the city police and also highway patrol.”
The idea came up about a month ago to do a law enforcement appreciation parade.
“I talked to my friend Justin and I said, ‘We should do something promoting law enforcement, you know, about all the good things law enforcement does, especially here in Madison.’ You know, the law enforcement in our not only our protectors but our friends as well,” Keyes said.
“It goes all the way around this high school right now as far as I can see in each direction, so we’re going to have a phenomenal number of people,” organizer Justin Blessinger said. “A really significant number of people who are just willing to drive by and show their respect and offer their gratitude and what a fantastic feeling that is.”
Not only did people show their support during the parade, but throughout the past two weeks, $13,000 was raised to distribute to officers and their families.
“Each law enforcement official in town, their family is going to get a gift card with $250 of ‘Chamber Bucks’ on it as well to spend here in Madison,” Keyes said. “It’s just a phenomenal way of the community of Madison coming together, which is why I’m so thankful we live where we live, especially here in Madison.”
The support doesn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s fantastic,” Madison Police Chief Justin Meyer said. “It’s a great feeling for the entire law enforcement community of not only the city of Madison, but Lake County to know that what we’re doing is appreciated, but knowing that’s not why we do it. We’re out there just trying to help those that are in need of help.”
Lake County Sheriff Tim Walburg didn’t expect this much support from the community during the event.
“It sent little shivers through my body to be honest with you,” Walburg said. “I didn’t not expect this big of a turnout, but again, that’s this part about this job, you never know what’s going to happen from day-to-day.”