Holladay City holds appreciation week honoring officers
A “thank you” to all the men and women who serve Holladay, in Holladay Plaza Square. (Aspen Perry/City Journal)
Gallery: Officer Appreciation [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
Not wanting the one-year anniversary of the tragic loss of one of Holladay’s own to slip by unnoticed, Mayor Rob Dahle and Deputy Chief of Police Don Hutson decided the best approach in commemorating Officer Douglas Barney was to show appreciation for all Holladay officers.
Honoring the officers of Holladay seemed the most fitting way to in turn honor the memory of Barney, whose life was cut short in the line of duty.
While Holladay has a direct community connection to the depth of sacrifice officers make each day, they are not the only community in Utah forced to face this reality. In 2016, three Utah officers were killed in the line of duty: Barney, Officer Cody Brotherson, Trooper Eric Ellsworth and one K-9, Aldo.
“We shouldn’t take [this sacrifice] for granted,” Dahle said.
From the discussion on how to best honor Barney while simultaneously showing support of all Holladay officers, the idea of Officer Appreciate Week was established.
During the week of Jan. 16, the community came together to show their Holladay officers just how much they valued what these men and women do for the Holladay community every day.
As part of Officer Appreciation Week, a dinner was held the evening of Thursday, Jan. 19. Since the Holladay City budget did not have allowance for this event, Dahle sent a letter to business owners in the community informing them they were looking for sponsors.
“This is the incredible thing about this community; we didn’t have the money to do this, but wanted to … and knew (the community) would support it,” Dahle said.
After receiving the letter, 10 businesses sponsored the event to make the evening truly special for Holladay officers and their spouses.
Considering the sacrifice officers make is also a sacrifice for their families, Dahle and Hutson felt it important to ensure spouses were able to take part in the evening, as well.
“It’s a way for us to say, thank you for the sacrifices you make for our community,” Dahle said
The start of the evening included a social in the Little Cottonwood room at City Hall, complete with drinks, appetizers and string music by Cottonwood High School student Katie Metcalf. This was followed by a sit-down dinner in the Big Cottonwood room.
In addition to offering appreciation through sponsoring tasty bites, community members showed their support by providing entertainment, including Olympus High School singing patriot songs.
To ensure the event remained about the officers, invites outside of the Holladay precinct were only to a few local council members and state representatives.
“It is our way of carving out a little piece of time, that we can bring our officers and their families together ... to share an evening together, away from work and to remember Doug,” Dahle said.
Another way the community showed support throughout the week was to hang banners throughout the Holladay Plaza Square.
Lampposts throughout the Holladay Plaza were adorned with banners featuring individual Holladay officers, and two simple words expressing the communities’ sentiments: “thank you.”