SARASOTA -- Scroll through the Sarasota Police department’s Facebook page and you’ll see message after message of gratitude using a white board, marker and words from the heart like family, their kids their pets and their community.
“It’ll show we are all human beings,” says Officer Scott Patrick with the Sarasota Police Department.
Some messages are more personal. Officer Jessica Sullivan is thankful for her dad’s cancer being in remission.
Officer Tripp Schwenk is thankful for the lifesaving donation of a kidney from his sister in law.
Patrick says, “It gives a little insight to each officer. We’re all people doing a job.”
Who knew Sarasota’s police chief had “mad tennis skills” and a poodle named “Sea Sea” who also goes by Cupcake?!
The Facebook postings appear every 30 minutes between 7am and 11pm on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a simple way of using social media to help police officers connect with the people they protect and serve.
Officer Patrick is a 14-year veteran.
“This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my wife Bobbie Sue who’s a police officer here too. I’m thankful for our 3 beautiful kids and the one on the way. It’s been a big year for us. I’m a veteran so I’m thankful for all our men and women who are serving right now overseas or anywhere.”
Patrick hopes the Facebook messages help bridge the gap that has led to so much violence against law enforcement officers.
“We’re out here to help people to try and make a difference. I wish more people would see that,” says Patrick.
Officer Laura Bobitz is a 24-year-old rookie on the job for just 3 months. Bobitz says she’s thankful for her family for their support and friends. “I’m thankful for this job this year,” says Bobitz. She adds, “I genuinely want to help people make a good impact on people’s lives.”
Despite the dangers, Bobitz says she has no regrets choosing law enforcement as her profession. “It is scary honestly, but it’s a job that I love. It’s the risk I’m willing to take for something I have so much passion for,” says Bobitz.
As more officers are posted, 10News will add to our gallery throughout the day.
(© 2016 WTSP)