AUSTIN – Rodeo Austin held a special tribute for officers following the bombings in Austin.
About 50 officers from Austin, San Antonio, and the Houston police departments, including their bomb squads, stood side by side in the middle of the bullring on Friday night. They all received a special thank you for their hard work serving a community on edge.
“It kind of hits you that you do make a difference in this community and that they appreciate that we brought this disaster to an end,” said Matt Harmatuk with Austin police.
The crowd gave a standing ovation and thanked them for going above and beyond to keep the community safe.
“Everybody pulled together these last few weeks and Austin really showed its strength and what it stands for,” said Rob Golding, Rodeo Austin CEO.
The moment was a long time coming for all of the officers honored.
Lieutenant Katrina Pruitt said many on her team and especially those on the bomb squad had been working every single day since the first explosion. She said this tribute was an incredible moment for them and their families.
“A lot of my guys have very small children so all they see is daddy get dressed and leave,” said Lt. Pruitt. “So, this small amount of time they're going to get to see why daddy goes to work every day."
The night marked the end of a long battle and the start of their lives returning back to normal.
“Its back to business as usual,” said Harmatuk. “We just don't have to worry about hopefully opening package anymore or anything along those lines."