Petersburg Public Safety Officials host thank you event for surrounding areas

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The city of Petersburg continues to weather a financial storm that is wreaking havoc on its police and fire departments.

But they have been getting a lot of help and support from surrounding localities.

This weekend, a local company is going above and beyond to thank the surrounding emergency responders who have done so much to support the Petersburg emergency personnel.

8News spoke with Luther Sodat, the sheriff in Hopewell who spoke about his organization’s work with Petersburg.

“The different jurisdictions do kick in,” Sodat said. “We have done a lot with Petersburg. Petersburg has got a lot of hope in it.”

First responders from every surrounding corner of Petersburg continue to rally around the city as it works its way out of one of the worst financial calamities in the city’s history.

Officer Randy Batts said that the work he and his coworkers from Petersburg do is about more than money.

“Over worked and under paid … that’s the story of Petersburg, but these guys, they do it every day,” Batts said. “It is not about the pay. It’s about caring for the city and caring for the citizens.”

Petersburg first responders have had a lot of help doing so.

That is why all week the Petersburg Freedom Support Center and other volunteers have put on events to say thank you to the surround localities, including Hopewell, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George and Fort Lee.

A reception was held at Union Station as one of the several attempts to express their gratitude.

Tara Anderson, the Executive Director of the PFSC said why they held the events.

“They have come to our aid and made sure that we are safe every single day,” Anderson said. “So we just want to let them know how much we appreciate them.”

The officers say the act of gratitude will go a long way.

“It makes us feel real good because, often in our career, officers and firefighters go to work every day and don’t feel appreciated,” Batts said.

Sodat echoed Batts.

“It really makes you feel good to have people who appreciate what you are doing and I appreciate them for having us,” Sodat said.

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