TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — From the crash site to businesses across town, people in our community are coming together to support law enforcement following a tragedy Wednesday.
"It's heartbreaking for all of us who wear the uniform," shared Deputy Goddard with the Leon County Sheriff's Office.
The deadly collision that took one Tallahassee Police Officer’s life early Wednesday morning was evident on Goddard’s badge with a black bar. "We all take it to heart very seriously. We stick together as a family,” Goddard added.
That family of law enforcement is always welcomed at Country Kitchen on North Monroe.
"We heard it early this morning. It's always devastating for us," shared Lu Ann Henderson. She owns the eatery. She said she’s got law enforcement in her own family.
"We feel like this was probably someone who has visited here at the restaurant. We know he's a friend or family of somebody. It hurts us, because we're so supportive of the officers," Henderson added.
She offered free meals to law enforcement throughout the day. It was a small way of showing her appreciation.
That appreciation is something retired police chief, Walter Zalisko, said can go a long way toward helping brothers and sisters in blue heal. "Write encouraging letters thanking them for their service. That definitely makes people feel good. Their service is cherished by the public," Zalisko said.
He spent decades in law enforcement and dealt with losses himself. It’s those losses that another business owner, Scott McCormick, said no community should have to deal with.
"There's a lot put on their shoulders," McCormick said. He own's McCormick's Deli. The establishment is just feet away from where the crash changed lives forever. “It's sad to hear things like this,” McCormick added.
Now, more than ever, he's doing what he can along with Henderson to show officers they're appreciated for all they do to keep their communities safe.