Police and community members unite in Portland area

Camas and Gresham communities held gatherings to thank law enforcement

Heidi Kreis with the Portland Police Bureau shows off some skateboard tricks with kids from the community in Gresham. (KOIN)

CAMAS, Wash. (KOIN) — In the face of the tragic events in Dallas and Baton Rouge in recent weeks, local communities are taking time to thank law enforcement.

Community events have been popping up all over the area, uniting police and the citizens the protect.

Police want the public to know that they are part of the community too. In an effort to build relationships, events in the Camas area and Gresham saw law enforcement and citizens getting together for picnics and fun.

“It’s good for the public to see and meet these guys that are out there and gals protecting us each day,” said Jan Loomis of Camas.

“We’ve seen an outpouring of people just thanking us for being here and it’s been really nice,” said Sgt. Zane Freschette with Washougal PD.

“We tell them, literally tell them, we don’t ask them, we tell them, ‘go make us safe.’ Sometimes that means they’ve got to do some unthinkable things. Sometimes that means they may not be coming home. So this is really to tell them ‘thank you,'” Washougal Mayor Sean Guard said at the impromptu gathering in the Camas/Washougal area.

In Gresham, officers lets kids know they’re part of the neighborhood while showing off some skateboard tricks.

Heidi Kreis with the Portland Police Bureau at a community event in Gresham on July 20, 2016. (KOIN)
Heidi Kreis with the Portland Police Bureau at a community event in Gresham on July 20, 2016. (KOIN)

“Kids hopefully look up to police and then to see them doing something that they’re doing, they feel like we have more in common like ‘oh I can be just like you when I grow up,'” said Heidi Kreis with the Portland Police Bureau.

At the end of the day, the picnics and skating aren’t as important as the message officers want to send: Police are here for you.

“People get to know us as people, not just as police officers,” Franschette said.

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