DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Less than twenty four hours after two Des Moines area police officers were killed in what’s being called an ambush attack, youth in Davenport are reminding local law enforcement they appreciate their sacrifice.
“Everybody at the police department’s got a heavy heart when there’s a tragedy like this,” said Davenport Police Sgt. Eric Gruenhagen.
He said this morning’s news out of Des Moines made a tough day for many in the department.
“Because we have families, we have loved ones, we have children,” Sgt. Gruenhagen said.
But more than two dozen kids at First Presbyterian lifted his and other law enforcement spirits.
“So yeah, it hits home, but this is just another positive reminder of why we signed up to do this to begin with,” Sgt. Gruenhagen said.
He got several cards from kids like Tony Horvath. Who spent their normal youth group time making cards and cookies for officers.
“I wrote him how about he keeps us safe even though he risks his life on the line and he watches over us 24/7,” Horvath said.
The seventh grader said he’s met police before but tonight was special.
“The appreciation on their faces when we gave them their cards just said it all,” Horvath said.
Sgt. Horvath said these are the moments that mean the most.
“See that’s what it’s all about, right there, building relationships,” he said. “Anytime that we have an opportunity to do that we have to do it.”
The church’s Director of Christian Education, Tiffany Horvath, said she wants students and officers to feel comfortable around each other.
“To shows the kids that if they are concerned or in trouble, or if they need a friend, or if they need help, that a police officer should always be the first person they approach,” Tiffany Horvath said.
And is happy she could help show local law enforcement some in the community stand behind them.
“I know that there’s a lot of vitriol and anger out there right now that we hear a lot of, and I really want our local officers to realize that’s the exception, not the norm” she said.
Representatives from Davenport and LeClaire police departments were at tonight’s youth group, along with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department.