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Blue Gratitude

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Local ladies lead the charge to ensure area police officers and deputies know how much they are respected and appreciated

Stacey Livingston, a firefighter with the Sanford Fire Department, was sitting in the fire station one day when she was overcome with an idea. Stacey often serves side-by-side with law enforcement personnel and sees firsthand how hard they work. She wanted to honor local police officers, deputies, and highway patrolmen and let them know how much the community appreciates them and their service.

Stacey wrote her thoughts into a manifesto of sorts and asked a few friends to join her in the quest. She started a Facebook page called 10-24 NO MORE!! (10-24 is the police radio code which means an officer is down or needs assistance). Within a few days, more than 2,000 people had joined the group, with a simple mission – to thank police officers, sheriffs’ deputies, and officers with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Stacey and her friends Jen Buchanan (a retired firefighter who is currently an ER nurse with Florida Hospital) and Allison Baker (a nurse with Central Florida Regional Hospital) decided to collect money and gift cards and perform random acts of kindness whenever they saw officers on duty. Local restaurants, businesses, and citizens heard the call and began donating, as well. Stacey and her friends printed and donned 10-24 No More T-shirts, made signs, and prepared gift bags and envelopes for distribution. Then, they drove around looking for on-duty officers.

“We were nervous the first day,” Stacey says. “It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. We didn’t know how the officers would receive us.”

There was no need for worry. The reception was tremendous.

“We would approach officers and tell them about our mission, thank them for their service, and hand them a gift,” says Stacey, describing a typical 10-24 No More presentation. “Sometimes when we are in a restaurant or a location with customers, everyone starts clapping and cheering for the officers. It really is thrilling. The officers have all been so appreciative and always tell us we didn’t have to do it.”

The ladies, who try to get out and make deliveries once per week, have so far surprised officers and deputies all over Seminole and Volusia counties, with no signs of stopping.

“Central Florida law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for complete strangers every time they put their uniform on,” says Stacey. “Our mission is to thank them for their service and let them know they are appreciated. And with the help of the community, we will continue to do that as long as we can.”

For more information, please search 10-24 NO MORE!! on Facebook.

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