MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Kiwanis Club is rolling out a national program called CCOPS: Concerned Citizens Organized for Police Support.
The Kiwanis Club chose Montgomery as the pilot city for the state of Alabama to implement the plan, which aims to foster new relationships between the public and law enforcement.
"We have a tremendous problem between the citizens and the police," explained Kiwanis member Jack Galassini. "We need to show the police is their friend, and the risks the men and women take when the put on the uniform when they walk out of their home. We also want to honor the best."
CCOPS will help open the lines of communication in several ways including Blue Monday, which is the first Monday every month where citizens are encouraged to say thank you to law enforcement officers.
The other initiative is "Thumbs up Thursday."
"Thumbs up Thursday is the third Thursday of every month," Galassini explained. "The next Thumbs Up Thursday will be next week. If you see a law enforcement officer, give them a thumbs up."
You can expect to see more about the initiatives. Lamar Outdoor donated 40 "faces" around the city to educate about "Thumbs up Thursday."
While it's a small measure, organizers hope it will help law enforcement and residents to learn more about each other, and develop a mutual respect.
"We hope it will change the attitude and give a pat on the back, a hug, and a show of appreciation for the men and woman a part of the thin blue line," explained Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.
To kick off the program, three law enforcement officers were honored during the news conference: Trooper Jimmy Hendrix, MPD Officer Bryan Goza, and Montgomery Sheriff's Deputy Steve Smith were introduced by the Kiwanis Club and awarded for their hard work.