A local online watchdog group is continuing to provide support to the Los Banos Police Department.
Los Banos officers and their significant others were treated for the third year to multicourse dinners at Los Banos Steakhouse on Sept. 9 and 12.
The dinner, held as a localized version of the Sept. 15 National Thank a Police Officer Day, saw officers receive raffle prizes, with one taking a grand prize of a one-night stay at Dream Inn in Santa Cruz.
The gifts and dinner were provided through donations by 61 families and two businesses, organized by Michelle Gallagher, administrator for the “Los Banos Watch Dogs” Facebook page.
Gallagher, who runs the Facebook page of more than 7,000 members, said it was important to recognize what police officers do for the community.
In addition to the prizes and food, officers received hand-written letters from a second-grade class from Westside Union Elementary School. Gallagher said she has also been selling stickers stating “I’ve got your 6; Los Banos Police Department,” which means “I’ve got your back.”
“This year, it seems so much closer to home,” Gallagher said, adding that she wanted to see more visual support for the Police Department throughout the community.
Sgt. Justin Melden said the event was a great and welcoming gesture put forward by the public.
“It’s nice to see it, but (the recognition) is not why we do this,” Melden said, adding that the community tends to come together to support police at times of crisis, such as in July when police officers were shot in Dallas.
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562