‘It’s a way to see us in a different light’: Public Safety Community Appreciation Day allows fun interaction with first responders

Public Safety Appreciation Day

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Home Team Grill hosted a Public Safety Community Appreciation Day on Saturday in downtown Richmond.

The free event was a way for people to get up close to the officers help who keep them safe.

“It’s a way to see us in a different light and interact with us where it’s not like you’re getting stopped in a car,” said Richmond Police Sergeant Stuart Hannah.

Those in attendance could grab a meal, as well as try out first responder equipment, including armored vehicles and a bomb detection robot.

A portion of the money donated from today’s event will benefit the RPD K-9 and mounted police units.

Hannah says money from events like this goes a long way in helping the police dogs, when funding from the city is not enough.

“Our police dog’s primary job is to keep officers as safe as they can, whether it be building searches, tracking down people who run,” said Hannah. “The city does a lot obviously for both units, but there’s always more that can be done.”

To that end, the nonprofit Friends of Richmond K-9 were also at the event. Their organization raises money to hep provide extra resources for local police dogs.

“Essentially anything that the K-9 units need that the city can’t cover, we take up the costs," said Friends of Richmond K-9 President Carolyn Naoroz.

Recruiters for area police departments, sheriff’s departments and the Richmond Fire Department were also at the event.

Proceeds also benefited the Richmond officer who was shot in the line of duty last month.

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