LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - Lieutenant Gliniewicz served as both a police officer and a mentor for 32 years. Thursday "explorers" at the post in Leesburg showed their support for him and his family.
"I hope it touches them they know that they're not alone, said Lieutenant James Vick of Leesburg. "There's others out here that feel the same way they do."
Members of the Leesburg Police Department Explorers program, among others, signed this banner in support of fallen Lieutenant Charles Gliniewicz.
Black ribbons were pinned to shirts, and respect was paid to a man who worked with kids involved in the same program in Illinois before being tragically killed.
Law enforcement has not gotten much public support. One explorer said those opinions eat away at her.
"Don't judge them by the uniform, said Nikki Vick. "They are people. They have hearts. they're there to help you."
The explorers are comprised of youth who have a firm respect for law enforcement, and are training to one day earn a badge.
"We just go and find kids who are interested in law enforcement and brought them in. and now we've even expanded to firefighting and EMS."
The kids are shaken up from the news, and in the wake of recent retaliation towards police, officers are watching their backs.
"They're a little on edge, because it can happen at any time, said Lt. Vick. "But we have to be prepared for it. But it's not going to stop us from doing our job."
"That's what he would want, said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachles. "He wouldn't want nobody backing down just because of a certain situation at hand that didn't need to happen."
And Lt. Vick said he couldn't fathom leaving behind his "mentees" due to a senseless act of violence.
"I call them my kids. And that's the way I feel about all of them, said Lt. Vick who is also the father of Nikki. "And I feel sorry for them. My hear goes out to them."
The Sheriff of Lee County said the banner was important because it expresses the love and support across the nation.