The deadly targeting of police officers in a mass shooting last week in Dallas, Texas has grabbed headlines across the United States. Texas may seem a long way away, but Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh says the news hit hard.

"Missoula is not immune from the emotion and the gut-wrenching feelings from an event like the, the Missoula Police Department is no exception," Welsh said. "When some of our brothers and sisters go down it really bothers us. The community in Missoula has a really come out and expressed their appreciation for us."

Welsh says more Missoulians have gone out of their way to say “thank you” to local officers over the past week.

"I'm seeing it on social media when people are visiting our Facebook page," Welsh said.  "Officers out on the street are seeing it, just people coming up and telling them 'thank you' for what they do everyday and its been really nice. It's unfortunate that these kinds of tragedies are when we see this kind of stuff for the most part. But it is always nice when people come up and tell you that they appreciate what you do."

The deaths of five police officers in Dallas during last week’s shootings offer a sobering reminder that law enforcement officers put themselves directly in harm’s way on a regular basis, sometimes simply by putting on their badge.