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Greeley restaurant finds free food a good way to honor law officers

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GREELEY, Colo. -- In the wake of last week’s violence and in support of the law enforcement officers gunned down in Dallas, a local restaurant is giving back to those who wear the badge.

At Bulldog Deli and Pizza in Greeley, it's more than a meal, it’s feeding a feeling.

“You guys law enforcement?  Your stuff’s on us bud.  Drink, anything behind us?  What would you like?” restaurant owner Brandon Bird said from behind the counter to a customer.

As the sign on the door says, on Monday, cops eat free.

“Thanks again we really appreciate it,” Bird said to one of the many officers who came in to eat Monday.

The idea came from Bird, a Marine veteran and local firefighter.

“I was at the firehouse on Friday night and I think all of us were just stunned, blown away with what's going on and I just thought to myself, what can we do,” Bird said.

Bird initially set out a donation jar in support of the fallen Dallas police officers, but he wanted a more personal show of thanks for the officers working in Greeley.

“There's just not enough of that in this world. These guys sign up to put their lives on the line to do a job that not a lot of people want to do and it can be a really thankless task,” he said.

As word of his good deed spread, others in the community came out in support.

“Well, we came to support the police,” said a female customer while giving her order.

“Its a tough life that we don’t understand and so for them to be able to do what they do for us and knowing its not going to be appreciated all the time, it's a great thing,” said Brooke Hollingshead, a customer who heard of the free meals for officers and wanted to stop in.

“Law enforcement is the backbone, they are the peacekeepers and we if we can’t find a way to get along and to promote that positive message then we got nowhere to go but down,” Bird said.

As Bird said, life, like a sandwich, should be filled with the best ingredients.

"The way to a man's heart is through his stomach,” Hollingshead said laughing.

And Monday, officers were filling up.

“Its for the community,” Bird said.

By 3 p.m., the restaurant had fed about 50 officers.  Some wouldn’t take the free food but did want to come down to say thank you for reaching out. Bird said it's the least he can do.