Man’s gifts bring light to recent police tragedy

Smith wants to make more bracelets to give to law enforcement officers he sees

Justin Smith made 60 friendship bracelets for Portland law enforcement officers. (KOIN)
Justin Smith made 60 friendship bracelets for Portland law enforcement officers. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There have been a number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty this year, including 2 just last week in Iowa.

Those events have left many people wanting to thank officers for their service to their communities. That includes one young man in Portland, who started making a friendship bracelets and couldn’t stop.

Justin Smith made 60 friendship bracelets for Portland law enforcement officers. (KOIN)
Justin Smith made 60 friendship bracelets for Portland law enforcement officers. (KOIN)

Justin Smith goes to the Bethesda center every week, and they often talk about what’s going on in the world. Smith was heartbroken after a discussion about recent tragedies, including the deaths of police officers in the line of duty.

“They are kind-hearted people,” Smith said.

Program Manager Linda Peck Athens said they talked about what to do for the officers and came up with the bracelet idea. Smith followed through and ended up making about 60 more, which they passed out to officers.

“They were really excited to get the bracelets,” Smith said.

Portland Police Officer Herb Miller received a friendship bracelet from Justin Smith. (KOIN)
Portland Police Officer Herb Miller received a friendship bracelet from Justin Smith. (KOIN)

“They were really thankful,” Peck Athens said. “They gave us hugs and gave people we support hugs and we all prayed together a little bit.”

Smith recently met Portland Police Officer Herb Miller and gave him one of the bracelets.

“The social worker introduced me to Justin and said he had something he wanted to give me,” Miller said.

Miller said it may seem like a small gesture but it’s one with a big impact.

“It makes you feel good because, like I said, there’s so much negativity out there being leveled at police officers right now,” Miller said.

Justin hopes to make even more bracelets for officers to hand out as he sees them in his community.