TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-- Friday was a special day for two very deserving families.
“This is a day of healing for our department, for our community," said Lt. Michael Russell, Support Services with the Tupelo Police Department
It was a day filled with anticipation and excitement for Officer Joseph Maher and the family of fallen Sergeant Gale Stauffer.
“The outpouring of love and support that the community has shown to my family and me, is just, it’s awesome,” said Officer Maher.
With the support of the community and donations from several corporate sponsors, the Tupelo Police Department presented Officer Maher with an all expenses paid duck hunting trip along with a plethora of hunting gear. Russell says it’s been rewarding for the department to see how much the community really cares about local heroes.
"The sacrifices that were made that day were obviously priceless. But, for them to show up the way that they have and contribute back to things that are going to benefit our officer and our fallen officer's family down the road has just truly been remarkable," said Lt. Russell
Sergeant Stauffer’s wife Beth, received a check to go towards a family vacation. Beth who became emotional after the presentation, says she’s overwhelmed with the support the community has shown both families.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel and there are still lots of memories and lots of fun to be had and you know, I think about Gale and how much he was an outdoorsman and how much he would love these for Joe,” said Beth.
For officer Maher, this hunting trip has been a driving force of motivation through his rehab, and he had this to say to a community that has stood behind him through it all.
“Just thank you very much-just all the prayers and thoughts, the phone calls, the get well cards, and just everything that they’ve done for us. It's just been awesome," said Maher.
The wives of both officers also recieved a spa day and Officer Maher's duck hunting trip is set for November