Local communties create event to recognize service and commitment of first responders

Posted at 11:12 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 23:12:43-04

Coney's at lunch time was just one of the offerings for police officers and other first responders today.

National Coney Island and other vendors provided food and drink in Detroit on National First Responder Appreciation Day.

"We just wanted to acknowledge them for the job they do, day in and day out, and give back," said businessman Sean Lane, one of the organizers of the day long event. 

Ray Leathem Buick-GMC provided space in a vacant used car sales office and the dealership parking lot for the first time event. It provided an opportunity to recognize the service of police officers, fire fighters and EMS personnel who serve Detroit's east side as well as the five Grosse Pointe communities and Harper Woods.

"Every now and then somebody thanks us and says 'good job' and that's what keeps you going," said Detroit police officer Irvan Higgins. "When somebody stops and says, 'hey officer, I appreciate you' and for the last week, they've been bringing stuff into the precinct and it's just been overwhelming," Higgins said. 

Higgins works out of the Detroit's ninth precinct, where officers just dealt with death of Sgt. Kenneth Steil.

Organizers told 7 Action News they plan to make the event an annual affair.