It is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day - WDRB 41 Louisville News

It is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From protests to fatal ambushes targeting police, it has not been an easy few months for people in law enforcement.

But Friday, people across the country were asked to say 'thank you.'

Officers like Sgt. Mike Ernst appreciate the day of support. In nearly 20 years on the department, Sgt. Ernst has heard it all. That includes both praise and criticism.

"Have a lot of people come up, lately, telling me how much they appreciate the job that we do," said Sgt. Ernst. "Honestly, you just, you almost get used to it and just kind of ignore it."

But to at least one local family, he's a hero and a lifesaver.

"It has been about four or five years ago over on Six Mile Lane," said Sgt. Ernst.

In Aug. 2010, Ernst was working off duty when he witnessed an LG&E contractor being shocked.

"I saw a big blue flash of light," Ernst said.

Ernst raced to the scene, but it was touch-and-go in the beginning.

"When we started CPR, he was no longer breathing," Ernst said. "[We] got his breathing back, he stopped breathing again, we started CPR again...and honestly, when EMS took him...I thought, 'Man, there's no way this guy is going to survive.'"

"He's great -- he has made a full recovery," said Kyle Meany, LMPD rookie officer. "He is actually working in the same job again." 

7th Division Officer Kyle Meany is the victim's younger brother.

"I think about their quick response," Meany said. "And had they not been there, and not been able to immediately get on the radio and let the Radio Room know what was going on...and get EMS out there..."

That's why he has a special appreciation for fellow law enforcement officers.

"A part of that appreciation is what drove me to want to become a police officer," said Meany

Meanwhile, as law enforcement officers continue to take hits in the wake of police involved shootings, Sgt. Mike Ernst knows he wears the badge for the right reason, and hopes the people he is sworn to protect know it too.

"Everybody takes this job to make a difference and to help people," he said. "And that's why we do it every day."

Today is national Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It was designed by the FBI to thank nearly one million officers across the country, and here in Metro Louisville who put their lives on the line every day.

As the nation celebrates Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, there is an event being held today at 6:30 p.m. at The Legends Night Club on West Broadway.

The purpose is to try to create or develop better a relationship between police and the community.

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