IRVING -- Let's face it, there are plenty of negative stories involving police shootings right now, but there are plenty of cops doing their best to protect and serve. That’s what inspired the focus of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne's new campaign High Five Irving 5-0.
“We are here today to publicly recognize what is largely being ignored and being left unsaid. Our officers perform heroic acts of bravery each and every week," Mayor Duyne said. “The police are highly involved in programs such as National Night Out, Coffee with a Cop, Irving Citizens on Patrol and Community-One.”
It's the type of spotlight Chief Larry Boyd and Irving PD want to be in.
“When you see stories across the nation it can become somewhat distorted and it appears that those things are happening all the time," Chief Boyd said. "When in reality, there's millions of contacts between police officers and the community on an annual basis.”
That bad perception is reflected in the latest Pew Research poll where only 7% of people believe cops do an excellent job when it comes to using the right amount of force.
But citizens of Irving like Robert Hernandez want to change the nation's perception, “I grew up around the police, they treated us like family.”
Patricia Petell has a son who’s a trooper for the Department of Public Safety in Phoenix, Arizona. He was wounded while making a routine traffic stop. She wants everyone to know how much they should appreciate law enforcement.
“I plead with everyone, support your local police officers, hi-five them," Petell said. "Tell them thank you because they`re there for us, to keep us safe.”