"It's nice to see people actually feel this way:" Racine residents show gratitude through Adopt-a-Cop program

RACINE -- The sentiment is spreading in southeastern Wisconsin as another community comes together to show their appreciation for the men and women behind the badges. Racine police officers say they're riding a wave of appreciation after receiving gifts from the community on Monday, September 5.

Through the Adopt-a-Cop program, Racine residents delivered hundreds of gifts to the Racine Police Department with the message: You are appreciated.

Gifts for the Racine Police Department

"They write a letter, thanking them for that they do in the community and then they just give them a small, little gift," said Tina Ortiz, Racine Adopt-a-Cop.

Ortiz says two weeks ago, she began organizing the effort to help show gratitude to the nearly 200 law enforcement officers that make up the Racine Police Department.

Gifts for the Racine Police Department

"With everything going on right, they don't have... some people feel like they don't have the support," said Ortiz. "This is showing them that they do have the support and there is a lot of people other there that support them, pray for them, and love what they do and thank them for putting their life on the line everyday."

Gifts for the Racine Police Department

"It make us a feel a lot better about doing what we're doing," said Officer Jennifer Diener, Racine Police Department.

Officer Diener has spent more than two decades on the force. She explained the experience goes a long way towards helping officers deal with a difficult job. They consider it a special day when families go out of their way to show love to law enforcement.

Officer Jennifer Diener

"Nobody has any idea what happens when we go into a house, what we have to with at a moment's notice, and I think, for the most part, we do a good job," said Officer Diener. "It's nice to see people actually feel this way. It's great. It's great to see them."

Gifts for the Racine Police Department

Ortiz says, after asking the community for those gifts, she was forced to place around 100 families on the waiting list because every officer on the force was already "adopted." She adds there are plans to give those people an opportunity to show their appreciation at a later date.