CRESTVIEW — The community had a chance to show support and appreciation to local law officers Saturday during the Community for Cops event at Gordon Martial Arts.

The martial arts academy at 130 W. Oakdale Ave. in Crestview gave kids and families an opportunity to have a positive interaction with officers.

“This event is showing kids they can trust police,” said Barbara Gordon, wife of academy owner Thomas Gordon. “When there is trouble, like getting lost, they should not fear cops and seek their help.”

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Local businesses and organizations supported the cause. Some proceeds were to go to the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center in DeFuniak Springs

Gordon said Saturday was the first such event for his business and that it will become an annual festivity.

Besides playing in a bouncy house, a dunk both, and having their face painted, many children from the academy wrote letters of appreciation to law officers who attended and had the chance to give them to the officers personally.

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Kennedy Collins, 6, drew a big red heart and a hand print.

“The hand print is to give them a high five,” she said.

Kennedy’s big brother Isaac thanked police for keeping the bad guys in jail and keeping him safe.

“This will keep them brave, so they can continue to protect us,” said Isaac, who is 11.

Their mother, Tresha, said she appreciates what law officers do in the community.

“Kids need to look up to a good role model, and I think they are the best ones to take on that position.” she said.