DALLAS - The 34th Annual Friends of Dallas Police Awards Banquet had a different sense of purpose this year as community leaders gathered to honor about150 officers for their excellence in service.
In the wake of the shootings on July 7, this year`s banquet held special significance as the families of the officers who died that day were on-hand to receive the police cross in memory of their loved ones' bravery in the line of duty.
Mayor Mike Rawlings attended to offer words of support. "What I'm going to say tonight is how proud I was of our police force after the shootings because we could've been a very bitter organization."
Senior Corporal Tramese D. Jones was grateful for the chance to relax with her brothers and sisters in blue. "To be able to come together, dress up and celebrate ourselves. We've put in a lot of work, we've had a very rough year and that is not to be neglected."
Interim Chief David Pughes expressed how proud he was of the officers who have continued to protect and serve after the shooting, "We understand the sacrifice it takes after what occurred to go out there each and every night and take those risks."
Nominee Detective Eric Barnes perhaps summed up best what every officer felt Tuesday night. "To know that people in the community actually appreciate the work that you do, it goes a long way with pushing you because there are a lot of tough days but days like this kind of help keep you moving forward."