When Susan Guillory, of Jackson, heard that Gov. Bobby Jindal declared Sept. 14 a statewide day of prayer for law enforcement personnel in Louisiana, she and friend Mary Hidalgo decided to honor East Feliciana Parish officers by organizing the inaugural Back the Blue program.

Guillory’s husband, Keno, is a Jackson police officer.

The event was held at the gazebo next to Jackson Town Hall. Jackson Alderman Jim Parker emceed the event, opening the program with a welcome.

The Rev. Clark Foshee Jr., of Second Baptist Church, led a group prayer and shared Bible passages, and the Rev. Buck King said the closing prayer.

A number of speakers discussed the importance of law enforcement officers, including Jackson Mayor Pro Tem Don Havard, who read a proclamation designating Sept. 14 as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. State Rep. Kenny Havard and District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla spoke, as well.

“Police officers are always ready and respond to calls 24/7, no questions asked,” D’Aquilla told the crowd. “They don’t know what sort of danger awaits them when they respond, but they have the courage to stand up and protect us. We are here today to show our respect, stand behind them and pray for them. Thank you for your service.”

Blue balloons were released in honor of all law enforcement personnel, and a reception followed the ceremony.