‘Thank you’ luncheon held for law officers

Employees and volunteers filled trays with pork steak, baked beans and potato salad Thursday as law enforcement officers and first responders filed past.

The scene at Miguez Funeral Home has become an annual tradition during National Police Week.

Organizer Zeb Johnson, owner and funeral director of Miguez Funeral Home in Jennings, Johnson Funeral Home In Lake Charles and Robinson and Robinson Funeral Home in Sulphur has been hosting the annual gatherings each year to show his appreciation for those who put their lives on the line every day.

“I can’t remember when we didn’t do it,” Johnson chuckled as he mingled with law enforcement officers enjoying their meals.

Johnson, who is a former police officer, investigator and coroner, said he has developed a special bond with the men and women in blue.

“They are like family to me,” he said. “You have to have been a police officer to understand the bond between police officers. Even when you retire the bond is still there.”

And just as families gather for special meals for special occasions, Johnson hosts one every May to say “thank you” during National Police Week.

For three days Johnson, his staff and volunteers served over 1,800 pork steak dinners to local law enforcement and first responders in Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes.

“It’s our way of giving back to them,” he said. “We can’t give them a monetary donation, but we can thank them with a good meal and share some time together. It’s a lot of fun seeing these guys come together.”

Even a few retirees show up to visit and talk about old times, he said.

“When I worked in the coroner’s office, I’d see a lot of these guys on a daily basis, but when you retire you don’t get to see them as often,” he said.

Lunch is served to allow shifts to take their lunch breaks. To go meals are prepared for those who are unable to get away from work. Any leftover meals are provided to medical personnel and others who serve in the community.

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