Milford residents and school children went out of their way to show their appreciation for Milford’s police officers this past holiday season.

Police Chief Keith Mello acknowledged during a city meeting earlier this week that these are challenging times for law enforcement, and the department really appreciates the cookies, cards and other treats sent their way in December.

“This holiday season we received so many gifts and cards and hearts made by students,” Mello said. “Ornaments for their trees, food and cookies like I’ve never seen before.”

“We really appreciate that,” Mello added.

The police chief made those comments at Monday night’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting, when Mayor Ben Blake read a proclamation in honor of the Milford Police Department. Monday was  National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Mello was on hand to accept the proclamation, which named Monday National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in Milford.

“These men and women are the guardians of our daily lives,” Blake said in presenting the proclamation.

“Each day police officers across our country go to work with the knowledge they may face extremely dangerous situations,” the proclamation states.

“The City of Milford is privileged to have a police department that is a full-service law enforcement agency with 116 sworn officers dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity,” it reads, noting that Milford recognizes its officers for their “bravery and heroism, and pays tribute to their faithful service.”

Each Jan. 9 the group Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) calls on citizens to support law enforcement. They offer some examples on their website of how to show appreciation: People can wear blue clothing; send a card of support to their local police department or state agency; share a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media; ask children to write letters in support of law enforcement, or participate in Project Blue Light by displaying a blue light in support of law enforcement.

“Most importantly, if you see a police officer, thank a police officer,” COPS suggests.

The group says on its website that "in light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all."

News agencies and social media carried stories and posts about National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day earlier this week. In an article in the Huffington Post, Steve Siebold, an author and expert in the field of critical thinking and mental toughness training, says, “The truth: Everyday should be National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It’s been a rough time for America’s police officers.”