Many officers and deputies had no idea that Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was underway on Friday, January 9, but they probably noticed the extra goodies.

Cookies started appearing at the Missoula County Sheriff's Office and the Police Department before noon.

"As a matter of fact we've had some people drop off some cookies for us and, in fact, we received some pizza at our 911 center," said Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. Of course, we'd like to say 'Thank You' to those folks for remembering us today and letting us know that they appreciate the work we do."

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day appears to have started online with the following post from a group called, National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.)...

On January 9th, 2015, Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. (C.O.P.S.) and partnering organizations will unite in support of law enforcement officers nationwide to promote a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.). In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.

Can you imagine going to work each day and wondering if you’ll survive your shift and see your family that night? Most people can’t. But in law enforcement, this is a fact of life. Each day 780,000 police officers across our country put a badge on and go to work knowing they may face extremely dangerous situations. Yet, they go to work anyway. Being a law enforcement officer is not just a job, it is a calling. The pay is low, the hours can be terrible, and there is sometimes little appreciation for what you do. Yet, they do it anyway.

What the public doesn’t see is the toll law enforcement takes to keep our communities safe. On average, between 105 and 203 officers die in the line of duty each year, 50,000 officers are assaulted in the line of duty each year, 14,000 officers are injured in the line of duty each year, and over 300 officers commit suicide each year. There is no other profession in the world, except possibly the military, where you will find these kinds of statistics.

On January 9th, we call our nation’s citizens to action in support of law enforcement. Those citizens who appreciate law enforcement and are discouraged about the negative attention being given to law enforcement are encouraged take time on Friday, January 9th to show their support. Our citizens can show their support in a number of ways:

  • Change your profile picture on social media to the .jpg image in the comments just below.
  • See a police officer? Thank a police officer
  • Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement
  • Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency
  • Share a positive story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media
  • Ask children in your community write letters in support of law enforcement
  • Participate in Project Blue Light. Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.
  • Organize an event or a rally in support of your law enforcement officers
  • Advertise your support through local media outlets/billboards
  • Post the public service announcement supplied by C.O.P.S. to your law enforcement’s webpage or social media pages