Granite Shoals Police Department Capt. Chris Decker (left) and Sgt. John Ortis take advantage of the Texas bluebonnets for a photo that quickly went viral on social media. Courtesy photo
Striking a pose among the posies, Granite Shoals Police Department officers captured the attention of social media after posting their pictures on Facebook. Photographs of the uniformed officers lying in a field of bluebonnets received more than 163,000 likes and 1,500 shares — and counting — by April 9. It’s not the first time officers had spring fever.
“We were featured on (‘Good Morning America’ for the same thing) two years ago,” Capt. Chris Decker said. “We wanted to do it again.”
More important, they wanted to show a human side of the badge.
“We want citizens to know you can interact with your community department,” Decker said. “People recognize who we are and what we do.”
Granite Shoals officers strive to reach out to the community by eating lunch with Highland Lakes Elementary School students, stopping by the city’s community center to visit with people as they play cards and dominoes, and showing up a child’s birthday party to give the guest of honor a present.
That type of interaction helps residents and the police department, Decker said.
“It’s not uncommon for us to hear somebody say thank you for what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s made a big difference.”
This year’s photo op happened spontaneously when Decker, Sgt. John Ortis, Animal Control Officer Rey Salinas, and Officer Allen Miley were returning from an officer assist call. They spotted a nice field of bluebonnets, noted they were in their blues, and decided to stop and strike a pose.
“It helps law enforcement to be seen on the human side,” Decker said.