Hartselle Junior High cheers on local first responders during pep rally

HARTSELLE, Ala. - When schools want to celebrate their teams, they hold pep rallies, right? That's always a great way for the student body to show their support.

On Thursday morning, Hartselle Junior High students held a pep rally to show support for the community's teams of first responders.

"That was awesome, you know to have all the kids celebrate the first responders - police, fire and EMTs," Hartselle Police Chief Ron Puckett said. "It's a great community outreach to us."

A pep rally in the school's gymnasium brought smiles all around. Chief Puckett said he is thankful for the students' sentiments.

"We have more support in this community than we do people that don't like us," Puckett said. "This is a great community to work, live, raise our family."

Seventh grader Zoie Bridgeforth wanted to share a message to police, especially to one special member of the Decatur Police Department.

"My dad because I haven't seen him for a while," Bridgeforth said. "I think that was a pleasant surprise for him to be able to come."

Bridgeforth's other peers said they hope the rally made an impact on the people who keep them safe.

"I hope that they know that we really want to thank them for all that they do," eighth grader Emilee Boster said.

It's been a hard summer for law enforcement, but the guys and gals in uniform said they feel nothing but love from their community.

"I feel like it's really good," Lt. Justin Barley of Hartselle Police Department said. "There's been some things that's happened in the country that's been very tragic and our community has really stepped up to reinforce that they love and support us."

The students also said the first responders should come back if they ever need a pick-me-up.

"We're here if they need anybody to help them pick up or anything," Student Jada Tennyson said.

Before the pep rally began this morning, the students served breakfast to the men and women in uniform.