Lee Phillips (from left) and Michael Michalski display signs thanking police and fire department officers at a Fourth of July event at City Hall. (Photo by Judy Peng)

Anyone outside on a street in Manhattan Beach is likely to notice simple, blue-and-white signs saying "Thank You MBPD & MBFD."

The signs expressing gratitude for the city's police and fire department officers are produced and distributed by volunteers to homes and businesses.

One of the volunteers, Judy Peng, said her appreciation for these public services grew over a number of years as she underwent city-sponsored community emergency response training (CERT), CPR classes, Emergency Medical Responder courses taught by fire fighters, and the Citizen Police Academy program.

"I got to know the people involved in these roles and also the inner workings of departments who are responsible for public safety," Peng said.

As the pandemic took hold, the role of first responders became increasingly clear, and Peng began talking to friends and neighbors about expressing thanks. Some offered cash donations and others banded together to bring the idea to life. The group chose posters and yard signs, approximately 24x18-inches in size, as a vehicle for their message.

Initially, $600 in donations was used to print 100 posters and 100 signs that were distributed by request to businesses and residents. The donations continued, as did requests for signs, and so far 1000 have been produced.

Peng says the group hopes to continue through this year if the community supports it. To contribute funds or request a sign, visit Lulus in Metlox Plaza, 451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., or Current Events at 1140 Highland Ave.

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