Police witness greater appreciation following HPD officers’ deat - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Police witness greater appreciation following HPD officers’ deaths

Police notice change in perception following HPD officers' deaths. Police notice change in perception following HPD officers' deaths.

We see and hear about it every year, police brutality and violence towards police.

“There has always been officers being killed, there has always been where officers had to use deadly force,” said Laurel Police Chief Tyrone Stewart.

In the Pine Belt, we've come across both incidents, but lately law enforcement feel like police brutality has had an effect on every department.

“It's been like we've had to walk around with our head down like you have to be ashamed of being a police officer,” said Ellisville Police Department Chief Bruce Russell.

“I was on the verge of quitting I mean just giving up and not cause I was scared or anything, the people just don't care,” said Laurel Police Department Corp. Kenny Rogers.

Due to the negative perception police are receiving, many feel like they are not appreciated for their service.

“Everybody looks at that one and judges all of us,” said Ellisville Officer Scott Wuertz.

Though it wasn't until officer's Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were killed that police say they started feeling and seeing the support from the community.

“What happened in Hattiesburg was out of anybody's control, but if it had to happened I truly believe that it was at the most opportune time in this area, in the nation to happen cause it took and opened everybody's eyes back up to what these guys are doing every day,” said Chief Russell.

“We have had a tremendous show of support since the shootings and we really appreciate that but they need to stop judging us by the few,” said Officer Wuertz.

Regardless of the perceptions, officers say they will continue on with their duties.

“No matter what's going on at the end of the day it's about protecting and serving your community what you actually filled out that job application to do,” said Chief Stewart.

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