GREAT FALLS, Mont. - In 1962, President Kennedy declared May 15 as 'National Peace Officers Memorial Day' and the week which it falls as 'National Police Week'. 

People around the nation are honoring the heroes of law enforcement who suit up and head to the front lines facing unknown danger. 

We caught up with Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter to find out what this day means to local law enforcement. 

He tells Montana Right Now that this day represents and honors all of the fallen law enforcement officers who have given their life, not just in Montana but around the country, to protect our freedoms. 

While they go to work every day not always knowing what will happen, Slaughter says it's this community that makes them successful. 

"The community are kind of the ones that help us... Any time we need something, they help us. The reason we are inspired to help the community is because it's treat others the way you would choose to be treated and I really believe that in Cascade County we have that relationship with our community," Slaughter said. 

He says every one is affected by law enforcement, whether you're a citizen or if you wear the badge. 

And it's important to remember that the community is us and we are the community. 

"Although we have a badge and carry guns, we're no different than anyone else in this community. Our children go to schools here, our spouses work in the community," Slaughter said. 

Police do more than just enforce laws; they assist fire fighters, comfort lost children, let suicidal people know that someone does care, and so much more. 

We asked Sheriff Slaughter what he would say if his deputies were standing there with us. 

"Thank you so much, thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for your commitment," Slaughter said. 

But there is another group he wants to thank, saying they are often forgotten. 

"The families of law enforcement officers also pay the ultimate sacrifice and I think that's really important, and I'd like to thank them," Slaughter said. 

While it's still early in the week, he says the community has already been showing their appreciation with treats and encouragement. 

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