CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Local first responders and peacekeepers were recognized Saturday at a luncheon for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to serve our community. 

“It feels great to be recognized, but I wish we could recognize all of the hard work all of our staff is doing every day. I know that we work hard, we work incredibly hard,” ACPD Detective Mike Wells said. 

Peace Officer Memorial Day is on May 15th, so the Public Engagement in Governance Looking, Listening, and Learning Laboratory or PEGLLLLAB at UVA’s Frank Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy wanted to recognize the people who work to keep the peace here in Charlottesville 

“Today is an event to really recognize those who serve with their hearts. Empathy I think is so vitally important and we pause just to recognize those first responders,” Associate Professor at the Batten School, Brian N. Williams said. 

Police Officers, Fire and Rescue squad members as well as violence interrupters like the B.U.C.K Squad were all in attendance to reflect on what they see in our community and the importance of their jobs. 

“It's a hard job. We are right in the midst of the gunfire. We are right around the guns and we get in to try to stop the fighting. We try to catch every situation,” Bryan Page from the B.U.C.K Squad said. 

Organizer and Associate Professor at UVA Brian Williams says their commitment goes beyond the individual. 

“We invited not only them but also their family members to take part of this because we realize and we do appreciate that the families are impacted by their service,” Williams said. 

And with the help of their families, their work and sacrifices to support their loved one in the line of duty isn’t going unnoticed. 

“When they walk out the door, their family doesn't know if they are going to walk back in the door or something is going to happen to them, it's going to be tragic during the course of the day,” Larry Brown from The Charlottesville Police Foundation said.

PEGLLLLAB research assistant facilitated speakers included other Batten School professors discussing the role of peacekeepers and celebrating the individuals who exceeded those expectations.