CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Our law enforcement officers sometimes don't get the credit they deserve.

Many of them are working on Thanksgiving, instead of being home with their families.

But one CMPD officer was awarded with a special surprise this Thanksgiving.

"Totally surprised, especially with the number of entries that were considered," said Officer Stephen Sterrett. "And I hadn't even heard about this."

Sterrett has been an officer with CMPD's South Division for 10 years now and on Thursday, he was awarded a Thanksgiving feast for his division, through a nationwide contest hosted by La Brea Bakery.

Out of around 3,000 entries, they only chose 10 heroes.

Sterrett was chosen for his commitment to work on the holidays and for his spirit of giving back to his community.

"To come out here and patrol the streets of Charlotte on a Thanksgiving day like this, we're giving up a lot for our families," said Jason Haitock with CMPD. "So just to see them be able to give back to him is special."

Sterrett's wife, Lane, submitted his entry without telling him.

"I wrote up a thing about why I think he deserved it, and why he's my hero," Lane said.

Before serving with CMPD, Sterrett was in the Air Force for over 20 years.

On this Thanksgiving, he's thankful for his fellow officers and the plethora of food in front of them, including his favorite Thanksgiving dish: pumpkin pie. But most of all, he's holding onto Lane even tighter.

"She's special," Sterrett said. "I'm glad I got her."