Citizen starts fundraiser to throw BBQ for officers, first-responders

- Officers and staff with the Plant City Police Department are lined up for a special barbecue, prepared by Mike Wells to say "Thank you."

"I appreciate you guys every day and what you do," Wells told them.

He wanted to show officers how much they meant to him and his family. He started giving out gift cards. But he wanted to make a larger impact. So he set up a GoFundMe so he could get enough money to feed a force.

"It's not just the officers out there. It's the person who has to deal with the phone calls, the 911 centers. That's my way of saying thank you", said Wells.

"When Mike reached out and presented us with the idea, I thought it was wonderful and kind of skeptical as police can be, I said, 'What's the catch?' and he very simply said, 'Sir, there's no catch. I just want to show appreciation to local law enforcement.' He shared with us that he is a Plant City resident and he had been out to Polk County and several other areas", said Sgt. Al Van Duyne.

"It really in this day and time is quite meaningful to be honored in this way and for a police officer to know that what we do does matter to them and in a positive way. With so much negativity, it's so wonderful to have something positive come out," said Capt. Susan Pruet.

Wells said his goal is to visit all of the districts in Hillsborough County and continue to show his appreciation to other agencies in Central Florida. To find out more about his cause, visit

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