LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The city of Las Cruces is offering residents free yard signs that read, “I SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT,” reported the Las Cruces Sun News.

The 18-inch-by-24-inch two-sided signs also show a black and white American flag with a blue stripe down the middle. The signs are similar in size to other types of yard signs that have been displayed for other purposes.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima developed the idea as he recalled experiences he had with neighborhood playmates as a boy. He shared his fond memories:

Our next-door neighbor was a Las Cruces police officer, Danny Gonzales. I remember we would be out in the yard playing. His wife would come out to the yard and tell her kids that their dad was going to work, and it was time for them to tell him goodbye. I remember everything stopped and they would all go over to him and give him a hug and a kiss. I was 7 years old and didn’t understand it. So, one day I asked them why they did that. They told me ‘you never know, he may not come home.’ I never forgot that moment.

Miyagishima proposed the project to the city council after the fatal shootings of Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez, on Aug. 12, and Alamogordo Police Officer Clint Corvinus, on Sept. 2. Both officers were killed in the line duty.

Miyagishima continued his thoughts:

They’re serving the community, serving the public, and people are shooting them like it’s nothing. This is a small token of appreciation for them (law enforcement). After my father retired from the Air Force, he was a volunteer in the mounted patrol. In my own way, I could feel what these guys were going through. This is a way to thank and support those women and men who work to ensure our safety each and every minute of every day.

The city purchased 250 signs at a cost of $1,390. Miyagishima said as many as 500 signs could be made available if there is enough public interest. Signs are being distributed from city hall as well as the police department.