GLENDALE (KSAZ) - It all began with a hero's welcome as hundreds of students at Heritage Elementary School in Glendale held a school assembly to simply say thanks.
Representatives from each heritage class read their thank you notes to sheriff's deputies and police officers and for 13-year-old Anya Harper.
"They care for everyone, they risk their lives every day," Anya said.
Anya is saying thanks to someone special.
"By saying that she respects me, respects what I do, that's really incredible to hear," said Officer Lamont Cox with the Phoenix Police Department. "I'm usually just a silly uncle at home so for me to hear that is awesome."
Officer Cox took it all in so he can remember it when things get tough.
"We always get the same reaction from bad guys, but when we get reaction from kids who are upset with us for unknown reasons, that bothers us," he said.
Officers say it means so much to them when kids show appreciation in a time when law enforcement doesn't see it enough.
"We have to look at police officers as our heroes because Superman and Batman aren't just going to fly in and save us," Anya said. "It's always going to be on the police officers."
Officers may not have capes, but they can definitely fly, which is exactly how it all ended with one last thank you from a grateful crowd.