Community offers show of support to Madras Police, JCSO
The Madras Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office were showered with gift baskets last week, and Warm Springs Police will receive theirs next week.
Jamie Hurd had the idea to do something to show support for local law enforcement. She put a private post on her Facebook page.
"It got overwhelming, huget support," she said. "We collected a ton of cash, gift cards, homemade items, items by kids."
She said she has done a lot of fundraisers in Madras, and this was the easiest. "People were begging to give," she said. "It was a lot of people coming foward and giving. ... This was a gift from the community. I just happened to have the idea."
The departments checked with their attorneys to make sure accepting the baskets didn't violate Oregon ethics laws, and they were assured that it did not. Public employees cannot take more than $50 from an individual, but the gifts were small and came from numerous, anonymous donors.
"It was received very well, and many of them were very touched by the support of the community," Sheriff Jim Adkins said. "I think that we live in a very special place because other parts of the country don't have the support that we do, necessarily. ... I know it really helped the mood of the office and was very encouraging."
He said he and Madras Police Chief Tanner Stanfill work hard to run ethical offices, "and I think it pays off."
Stanfill said about a dozen local residents "came with gratitude and gift bags for the officers and reserve officers of the Madras Police Departments. ... Included were thank you cards, gift cards and our most favorite, thank you letters and drawings from a bunch of our local kids.
"The Madras Police Department is so grateful for the community supporte we have had from our community today and in the past few weeks during these turbulent times," Stanfill said. "It is truly humbling and appreciated."
Hurd said the baskets weren't intended to be against protests against racial injustice, which she said is a real problem.
"I just have friends that are officers, and they were just feeling so blue and feeling like the world thought they were horrible," she said. "And I just wanted them to know that not everybody feels that way. One man's actions or a few men's actions doesn't mean that everybody behaves that way."
She feels for the families of officers, too.
"They give long hours, and they have to do really hard work that most of us could never accomplish," she said. "This was just meant as love and support."
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