“Back The Blue” Event Shows Appreciation For Lawrence County’s Police Officers

(BEDFORD) – The 1st annual “Back The Blue” event was held Saturday evening at the Boys & Girls Club sponsored by 1340 AM WBIW, 105.5 WQRK, 102.5 Litefm, and local businesses and individuals.

Bedford Golden Corral catered the meal Saturday evening for Lawrence County law enforcement officers.

The meal was catered by Golden Corral, and many prizes were given out throughout the evening; a small token of appreciation for the work these officers perform daily.

Several prizes donated by local businesses were given to law enforcement officers.

The private event was held to give a huge “Thank You” and to show appreciation to our local law enforcement officers and what they do every single day to keep the community safe.

Bedford Police Department – Photo provided by Jenni Johnson Photography

These agencies include the Bedford Police Department, Indiana State Police, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Mitchell Police Department, and Oolitic Police Department.

Today, law enforcement work is more challenging than ever, and in many parts of the country, their work is scrutinized and criticized.

The specialty food tables were created by Holly Davis, Carolyn Woolston, and Kellie Kemple

In keeping the peace they find themselves as counselors, protectors, and perform many other roles as they answer each call.

Law enforcement officers see the worst and the best in people on a daily basis. They respond quickly to emergencies that arise while they are on and off-duty. Their job does not stop when they take off their uniforms.

The professionalism of these highly trained police officers who keep Lawrence County safe has not gone unnoticed.

Audio: Bedford Mayor Sam Craig talks about Lawrence County law enforcement.

Tim Thompson of Sherwood Oaks Christian Church Bedford opened the event with prayer asking for protection over the officers.

Dan Kemple served as “Master of Ceremonies” for Saturday evening’s event.

Audio: Bedford Mayor Sam Craig discusses the challenges of being a law enforcement officer.

Bedford Mayor Sam Craig, who has worn the badge for both the Bedford City Police Department and served as the Lawrence County Sheriff, says honoring those that serve is a privilege.

Heather Machida talks about her experiences with local law enforcement

Heather Machida talked about her early experiences with local police department officials.

“After suffering from a difficult childhood, I did not like police officers. I got involved with alcohol and drugs as a teen and found myself in the back of a police car. But, thanks to a jail officer who encouraged me and told me that if that was his daughter he would be worried and upset. He encouraged me that it did not have to be this way,” said Machida. That officer was Captain Morgan Lee of the Bedford Police Department.

Audio: Captain Morgan Lee’s talks about becoming a LEO.

“Through working a drug rehabilitation program, and upon graduation following in 15 months, or eight years in Department of Corrections… I have found a new appreciation for a police officer that believed in me. It took me three times and hatred towards police officers, but I found a new appreciation for what they do,” Machida continued.

Audio: Morgan Lee talks about his memory greatest memory of being a LEO.

“I want to thank them for being supportive of me. I owe you my life,” said Machida.

“With all the things going on across the United States, I am often asked how are things going on in Bedford, Indiana. Tonight is an excellent example. We have generous support from the City of Bedford,” said Bedford Police Chief Terry Moore. “We all understand our job is not the same when we first started our career. We wake up every day, put on our uniforms, and do what we do.”

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department – Photo provided by Jenni Johnson Photography

“We are asked to be social workers, apply first aid, and much more,” said Chief Moore.

Later in the evening Deputy Prosecutor Bob Cline and his son Ian said thank you to those at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputy Prosecutor Bob Cline and his son Ian thanked the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department for saving Ian’s life early this year after Ian suffered a gunshot wound to his leg.

Cline, who treated soldiers who suffered injuries during combat, said it is very different when your own family is involved.

“I want to personally thank the Lawrence County Police officers Williams and Harrison for saving my son’s life that day, applying a tourniquet that saved my son’s life,” Deputy Prosecutor Cline stated.

Every police department was given a token of appreciation as seen here. Photo credit Jenifer Johnson Photography

The night was filled with themed music, especially from the old television shows such as Hawaii Five-0, Cagney & Lacey, and others from the 70s to 90s that inspired many to get involved with law enforcement.

Greg Taylor, Captain Lawrence County Police Department, talked of how the television show Adam 12 inspired him to become a police officer. In a few months Taylor will serve his 25th year at the Lawrence County Police Department.

“I have worked under great sheriff’s like Sam Craig and Mike Branham who made sure we had the equipment to do our job,” said Captain Greg Taylor, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

Mitchell Police Chief Mike Hardman accepts an award given to the Mitchell Police Department

Mitchell Police Chief Mike Hardman talked about how one of his officers, Rob German, said he didn’t deserve the “Life Saver Award” and that he was just doing his job.

“I want to thank the community for showing the support they have given us. Many other places do not have this same kind of support,” said Mitchell Police Chief Mike Hardman.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Sam Arp speaks Saturday night about working with Lawrence County Police officers.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Sam Arp wanted to thank the officers for their professionalism and dedication.

The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s office handles more than 2,000 cases a year. Every case is first handled by a local police department.

Audio: Lawrence County Prosecutor Sam Arp discusses working with Lawrence County’s law enforcement officers

The families of police officers sacrifice a lot – missing birthdays, holidays, and put in many long hours away from their families.

1340 AM WBIW, 105.5 WQRK, 102.5 Litefm and our sponsors would again like to say “THANK YOU” to Lawrence County’s Police Officers.

The following sponsors partnered with the “Back The Blue” Event. Specialty food tables were catered from the kitchens of Holly Davis, Carolyn Woolston, and Kellie Temple.

Gold Sponsors

  • Advanced Audiology and Hearing Care
  • Bedford Ford Lincoln/Hobson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
  • City of Bedford
  • City of Mitchell
  • Golden Corral 
  • Judy Macy – State Farm Insurance Agent
  • Lawrence County Community Foundation 
  • Natasha Johns, Williams Carpenter Realtors
  • Spartan Mechanical

Silver Sponsors

  • Bedford Federal Savings Bank
  • Charles and Maria Edwards
  • Hoosier Hills Credit Union
  • Keach & Grove Real Estate
  • Pittman Law Firm
  • Mullis Carquest
  • Rogers Group
  • Smoot Eye Care
  • Thomas Insurance Services

Bronze Sponsors

  • Adaptive Nursing and Healthcare Services
  • Angee’s Guns
  • Animal Care Clinic
  • Arctic Glacier
  • Buffalo Wings & Rings
  • Collins Quick Lube & Service Center
  • Larry & Diana Caudell
  • Lucas Indiana Realty and Home Services
  • Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department
  • Sam and Sarah Arp
  • Standish Farm Supply 
  • Shaw Real Estate Solutions
  • Sosh Drywall
  • Straight Shooters Enterprises
  • The Edge Collision Center
  • The Law Office of Adair Brent
  • Tieman Tire