By Danielle Wellborn-Tyler
The Belton Masonic Lodge held an appreciation dinner for the Belton Police Department and their families last Saturday. “We’ve been planning this for about 2 months. [We] set aside this day, the 24th of September in the year of our lord 2016, to appreciate and fully show our continuing support for the law enforcement agencies in the greater Belton community,” said Tom McMurtrie, Worshipful Master of the Belton Masonic Lodge.
Their proclamation was read aloud to the audience by McMurtrie. “The Belton law enforcement agencies are recognized for their dedication to preserving the peace and tranquility in the Belton community, their patience in protecting and serving the very diverse community. Our community is a much safer place for our families to live and thrive, because of your vigilance. We offer our sincere thanks and appreciation for being valued members of our community and risking your lives every day in what can sometimes be a thankless pursuit,” said McMurtrie.
Mayor Marion Grayson attended the event in a show of support and appreciation. ”The Masons are the city’s oldest organization. We can’t thank [them] enough for what [they] have done for our officers, and what our officers do for our community,” said Mayor Grayson as the ceremony began.
Police Chief, Gene Ellis, was also in attendance. “Community support is the essences of what we do. We’re servant guardians, so we can’t do it alone. We have to have the help of the community, and we have to partner with the community. We can’t serve if we don’t know what people expect of us. The only way to do that is to have relationships with them. It’s essential to what we do,” said Ellis.
This is not the first time the Belton Police Department has been the recipient of such a show of appreciation, and certainly won’t be the last. “That’s the great thing about the Belton community, we have had many of these kinds of events over the last year of so, where groups have come in and brought us things or stopped by or had prayer events, and it’s very heartwarming. It does a great deal for our staff. When they hear the people they serve say thank you, it does a lot,” says Ellis.