A unique program on the Columbia River treated police officers from Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to salmon fishing.
They've were invited to the northwest to create new memories, free of charge.
“I’m from Texas. So, we don’t get much of this,” said DeMarcus Turner with a big smile as he stood in a guided fishing boat. “Beautiful water, beautiful weather. It’s awesome!”
Eight officers from each department were invited to the fishing event. Other police officers and sheriff's deputies from the northwest joined them on the water.
“They're our brothers no matter what,” said Umatilla County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Carter.
He shared the boat with Turner. He can relate to the particular challenges of police work.
“Cops are cops where ever you go. We're telling stories, war stories,” he said.
It’s a break from normal life. Out on the river the cops are only trying to catch salmon.
Dion Hess organized the trip. He's done something similar the last five years for military veterans.
But after the police killings this summer, he decided they needed to feel some Northwest love.
“I think it’s time that people get together and show that we want to, that we appreciate our law enforcement and we need to be supporting them. And this is the way we do it here in Oregon, Washington. We take them fishing,” he said from one of the salmon boats.
They'll fish for three days, laugh and make new friends.
It won’t erase the summer's horrors but hopefully it will make them easier to endure. It sounds like its working.
“The silent majority has really spoken up since July,” said one of the fishermen Chris Webb, a Dallas police officer. “And that's something we don’t normally see.”
“In 20 years I haven't seen it. I haven’t seen it since 9/11. And it's been reassuring to know there's so many people that do know what we do and sacrifices that we make. You know, we're not trying to be special. We’re just trying to do our job,” said Webb.
Tuesday, Sept. 13, Woodland area organizers will hold a fundraising barbecue for the families of the officers killed in Dallas and Baton Rouge. It will be held at Horseshoe Lake Park in Woodland beginning at 5 p.m.