It was a small but heartfelt way to say “thank you” to Sheriff’s deputies in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys … and to stand with the family of slain Sgt. Steve Owen.
With deputies still mourning the slaying of Owen on Oct. 5, the Facebook groups “SCV Emergency Now,’’ from the Santa Clarita Valley, and “AV Scanner,” from the Antelope Valley, joined forces this week and put together 6,000 “bags of gratitude” — handing them out to the thousands of officers who gathered Thursday at Owen’s funeral service in Lancaster.
For those area officers who could not make it to Thursday’s service – who may have been on duty elsewhere – the groups drove around Thursday night, delivering the bags to Sheriff’s stations in Santa Clarita, Newhall, Lancaster and Palmdale.
The bags were put together by dozens of volunteers over a three-day period, said Kari Dauer-Hewitt, one of the administrators of the “SCV Emergency Now’’ page.
Each bag contained snacks such as granola bars – but more important, hand-written thank-you cards from area elementary-school kids, with inscriptions such as, “Thank you for all the good things you do,” and “We love what you do, we like that you protect us.”
Most important of all was a sticker that read, “Rest in Peace Sgt. Steve Owen / EOW: Oct. 5, 2016.”
“EOW” stands for “end of watch.”
Oct. 5 was the day Owen, a 29-year Sheriff’s Department veteran, was shot a killed while responding to a burglary call in Lancaster.
Thousands of officers from all across the nation paid their respects to Owen on Thursday at Lancaster Baptist Church.
“It was to reach out and show them support and appreciation,” Dauer-Hewitt said of the bag project.
The two social-media groups share emergency-preparedness information with the public, posting Sheriff’s Department information and other such news.