PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A Port Richey business owner is getting national attention for showing support for law enforcement at a time where police are under intense scrutiny nationwide.

What You Need To Know

  • Owner said feedback has mostly been positive

  • Supporters even started donating money online to help pay for meals for law enforcement

  • Owner used donations to create badge-shaped signs for the restaurant

  • Owner launched website wesupportlawenforcement.org to continue sending message

It all started with a Facebook post.

Ron Pentaude owns Local Fresh Grill. He shared a post from his business Facebook page, saying in part, that his restaurant is “always a safe haven for law enforcement.”

The post went viral, was shared thousands of times and received more than a thousand comments.

“I’ve had phone calls from Canada and everywhere else. It’s been crazy,” Pentaude said.

He says he wrote the post as a response to the national conversation in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.

While he’s had some negative comments, a lot of the feedback has been positive. In fact, many folks started sending money to help pay for meals for law enforcement.

“I didn’t start this as a fundraiser. But it’s turned into, hopefully, a movement. A movement back to respect,” Pentaude said.

Photo: Tim Wronka/Spectrum Bay News 9

He’ll use funds donated to make signs shaped like a police badge, saying “law enforcement safe harbor.”

He’s displaying one now in his window and hopes other businesses will follow.

“It’s bright gold, so it sticks out,” Pentaude said. “If the police officer wants to go to a restaurant and have a meal where they know their food didn’t get spit in, this is the place. We’ve got your back.”

Local Fresh Grill has been supporting local officers and deputies since they opened four years ago, offering them discounts. They were a frequent stop for the production crew of "Live PD" when the show was filmed in Pasco County.

For more information, visit Pentaude's website, wesupportlawenforcement.org.