CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A 7-year-old girl's small gesture made a huge impact on Clay County deputies, so the men and women in uniform showed up to her second-grade classroom to return the favor.
In July, Kennedy Rose Booker wanted to show her appreciation for law enforcement after several officers lost their lives when they were targeted in shootings in Texas and Louisiana. Kennedy asked her mother to take her to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
"I heard this knock on the door that was kind of faint," said Sgt. Keith Smith of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
Smith answered the door to find Kennedy standing there with some goodies.
"I gave them a bag filled with Hershey Kisses," Kennedy said. "I said 'Thank you for doing what you do.'"
"She gave me a hug and a kiss,” Smith said. “(She) told me that she loved me and I invited her in. I spoke to her and her mom for 10 minutes.
Kennedy also visited the Green Cove Springs and the Orange Park police departments.
Smith said it was a moment he'll never forget.
"That day will leave more of an impression on me than anything in my career so far, because that came from an innocent little girl, tenderhearted... and that was from her heart," Smith said.
After Kennedy’s visit, Smith did some investigating to find out where she went to school. Smith and more than a dozen deputies and officers from surrounding law enforcement agencies, decided to surprise the second grader and her classmates with a pizza party at Tynes Elementary School.
"We're sorry to interrupt your class, but we're looking for a very special little person named Kennedy," Smith said as he surprised Kennedy in her class. "We wanted to come and make today special for you, like you did that day for us."
The visit was an experience Kennedy said she'll never forget.
"They help other people, and they might help me when I grow up," Kennedy said.
Now, Kennedy has a lot of friends on the force and said she appreciates what they do every day.
"We'll do everything in our power to keep you safe -- deal? I appreciate you coming by that day more than you'll ever know,” Smith told Kennedy.
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