HATTIESBURG, Miss. - With the recent attacks on police officers, one Long Island native started going to different cities across the country to pay tribute and honor law enforcement by running a few miles.
Runner, Billy Richards said, "I've been going around precinct and been running the area with a flag. I decided to come up with this tour just to show appreciation for what they do."
Josh Deen, the brother of fallen Hattiesburg Police Officer, Benjamin Deen, reached out to Richards and the two coordinated together for Richards to run in Hattiesburg.
"I wanted to run just to honor the deaths of the two officers. I think it's important that the community knows that the police are still the good guys," said Richards.
Hattiesburg Police Officer, Cpt. Tracy Harris said, "A good Samaritan to come all the way from New York and do runs for fallen officers, just not for Hattiesburg but all across the state, all across the U.S. feels really good.”
Richards ran from the police station all the way to the memorial site of Officers Deen and Tate, and then ran back to the station.
Richards said "there's a lot of thoughts that run through your head anytime you see a memorial and everything. It's just like a state of wow. It just kind of blows your mind."
When Richards ran back to the station, he was greeted by members of the community and the Hattiesburg Police Department, and also received a Hattiesburg Police Department coin and patch.
Richards' next stop on the "Thank the Police Tour" will be in Baton Rouge and will then make his way to the west coast and back to New York.