BUFFALO, Iowa - We're hearing from Buffalo Police Chief TJ Behning for the first time since he was badly injured trying to stop a fleeing suspect.
On Thursday, October 5th, Buffalo Elementary School held a special assembly to give thanks to local first responders.
"We are a very close community and we know a lot of our very community and we know a lot of our first responders on a first name basis," said Mallory Bartleson, PTA member.
However, missing out of the group of heroes, a very familiar face to these students, Buffalo Police Chief TJ Behning.
"He came to school every day almost," said 3rd grader Sam Bartelson.
Chief Behning was injured when a stolen garbage truck smashed into a squad car during a police pursuit. While he's recovering in the hospital, students have been there. From sending cards, making t-shirts to holding the special assembly.
"It is important to recognize the people in our lives who are superheroes who might not get the recognition they deserve all the time," said Mallory.
Even though he's miles away he wanted to be sure to give his thanks. At the assembly, the students were surprised with an audio recording from the Chief.
"It's heartwarming you know waking up and seeing all those cards you guys made, those pictures, the drawings, the paintings, it just makes me feel great," said the Chief on the recording.
Chief Behning wanted to let the kids know he's okay, "I truly, truly appreciate it you know. I`m feeling great. I can't wait to be back and hang out with guys at recess. I just want you to know everything is going well, I have no pain."
Keeping up with their Thursday Tradition, the Chief bought bags of candy for the student.
"Remember today`s Thursday and its candy day, you`ve earned it. Keep the candy wrappers off the sidewalk," said Chief Behning.
His recording ending with a sweet, simple message, "I love you guys, thanks."
You can hear the full recording below.