In a tumultuous time of protests, civil unrest, riots, looting and numerous anti-law enforcement movements taking shape across the country, one Stockton business decided taking a different tact and outwardly showing support for law enforcement needed to be seen to counter much of the current negativity being disseminated in the media. 

Kenneth Thornton, owner/operator of Sac River Building Supply, Stockton, took it upon himself to find a unique way to thank the entire staff of the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office: handshakes, smiles and personal appreciation from generations of his own family. 

On Wednesday, June 17, Cedar County sheriff James McCrary and a hoard of CCSO deputies were asked to visit the local hardware store and lumber yard for something becoming more and more uncommon — a good old fashioned face-to-face “thank you.”

In sharing his reasons for wanting to thank the team of local law enforcement, Thornton’s response was solid and direct. 

“I have always respected those who put on a badge and uniform to serve the community. We all should,” Thornton said. “Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it. They truly are our first line of defense here and all of us here want them to know they are appreciated.”

In speaking to the current political climate surrounding anti-law enforcement efforts across the country, Thornton said his stance was one of complete support for law enforcement, regardless of circumstance.

“Until you have been on their side, you do not understand what they do every single day,” Thornton added. “They are all human, just like we are. I wish more people would speak up and show more thanks to these brave men and women. If we voted against or protested everything that happens, we would never get anywhere as a community and we would not have the support of our own law enforcement.”

Thornton added his family’s gesture was not for the sake of fanfare, gifts, or politics — even taking time to mention McCrary is running unopposed in the coming August election — and said it was merely a personal way he could “take an extra step or two to show them they were truly appreciated.”

On behalf of the CCSO, McCrary shared his thanks for the Thornton’s gesture of appreciation and said the support of the community means much to his staff of law enforcement officers. 

“It’s about all of them right there,” McCrary said as he pointed to his assembled group of deputies. “They are the ones out there every day and they deserve to be appreciated for what they do.”

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