Hayley Kelly senses a unique bond with every wife of a police officer she comes across.
Being the support system for law enforcement often goes unnoticed, she says, which means police wives often have to lean on each other to gain guidance and strength.
In Kelly’s friend group, they have a name for that.
“We call ourselves ‘sisters-in-law,’ ” said Kelly, the wife of Wes Kelly, with the York County Sheriff’s Office. “Sometimes, we like to get together and cry on each others’ shoulders and vent. We love our husbands and their high-stress jobs, and it’s good for us to deal with our stress, as well.”
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Close to 20 wives of police officers and law enforcement in York County will meet Friday evening in a free event at Sassy and Chic Boutique on India Hook Road, where the women will create a police-themed craft that they can take home.
Joy Terhune, who helped open the boutique just last month, said the two-hour event was designed to show how Rock Hill and the surrounding areas support law enforcement and keep their families “near and dear to our hearts.”
The boutique is expecting wives from law enforcement in the S.C. Highway Patrol, York City Police Department, Rock Hill Police Department and York County Sheriff’s Office.
The wives will be creating painted wooden American flags, decked in black and white, with a thin, blue line in the middle. That line has often become a prevalent way for officers to commemorate their fallen friends and officers, and symbolizes the relationship of law enforcement with the community.
Local vendors have donated items and materials for the women to use.
“We’re doing this to say ‘thank you’ for our local law enforcement wives,” said Terhune. “We don’t think they get thanked enough. Their husbands go out in a really scary world, so we want to let them know we’re behind them and the community of Rock Hill is behind them.”
Amy Polk, a wife of another York County Sheriff’s officer, called the bond between police wives a “sisterhood” that works as a bond during rough times.
Terhune, who has close friends in law enforcement, saw the event as one of the first things her boutique should do. She recently stepped away from her accounting department job to help open the business, which she says will help women of all ages and backgrounds unwind with hand-made crafts.
Polk, who said she can’t wait for Friday’s event, said it was important for police wives to take time for themselves.
“You never know where there could be a situation where you get a phone call or a knock on the door, and you always feel for other wives who go through that,” said Polk. “We have families. It’s like a sisterhood, being with others, I really do feel that way.”
Want to go?
Event: Local police wives decorate DIY wooden flags
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Sassy and Chic DIY Boutique, 1122 India Hook Road, Rock Hill