What began as a single act of support for law enforcement, has now become a national movement. We Back Blue is a group that was organized at the height of the 2020 riots by a woman who not only has current and retired family in law enforcement, but by someone that wouldn’t stand by and let the media tarnish their reputations.
After their first successful march in Washington, D.C., We Back Blue traveled the country for the duration of the year, hosting over 30 events and helping many show their appreciation for our brave men and women in uniform.
From National Night Out to Officer Appreciation Day, this group was there in full force to support and represent positive engagement.
But it’s not just marches and rallies anymore for We Back Blue. During the 2021 inauguration, the organization fed coffee, breakfast, and hot meals to over 200 officers at their hotels. Not only were the officers appreciative, but they were able to sit and take the time for much needed comradery that rarely happens.
Now, We Back Blue is tackling some of the key issues that law enforcement is facing and bringing those to the forefront.
We Back Blue was recently featured at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, after facilitating the first ever law enforcement panel. Although We Back Blue is a nonpartisan operation, CPAC provided a national platform to highlight the work being done by We Back Blue, and allowed for a conversation to take place.
This talk about supporting police professionals and rejecting the defund the police (and other movements meant to fundamentally dismantle American policing) was led by former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, We Back Blue Ambassador Rob O’Donnell, and We Back Blue Government Affairs Director Tim Parrish.
Melissa Robey, the Founder of We Back Blue, stated:
“These officers deserve respect and they are simply not getting it. What’s worse, is that they are not being treated in a mental health capacity, and we are seeing the staggering results,”
So, in typical We Back Blue fashion, they saw a need and they filled it. The team quickly began doing research, gathering speakers, getting in-kind giveaway items, and spreading the word throughout the country.
“The stigma is too high for some to just reach out and get help, so we decided to put together an event where officers can go and get help, gather resources, and find that much needed helping hand,”
Proudly, the first BALANCE Virtual Summit will be held on March 11, 2021. It is open to current and retired law enforcement, and is already gaining national agency attention.
Those that wish to attend should go to the event website at www.webackblue.com/events . If you want to support the organization or stay in tune with the incredible work they are doing, you can head to the general site at www.webackblue.com.
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Pennsylvania man joins with other businesses to start a “Back the Blue” campaign: ‘It’s our turn to be there for them’
December 18, 2020
DUBOIS, PA – In a climate where law enforcement is portrayed and perceived as the enemy, showing support for law enforcement may not be the easiest way to win friends and influence enemies.
But try telling that to a Pennsylvania community who is proud to show some love for their law enforcement.
— Tom Mullins (@tommullinswv) December 14, 2020
A resident in DuBois, Pennsylvania has teamed up with several local businesses and recently started a campaign called “Back the Blue’. Their mission is simple, to show support for local law enforcement agencies.
Resident Nick Suplizio came up with the idea to sell pro-police t-shirts and hoodies. The proceeds would then be given to local police departments.
Suplizio told the Courier Express:
“Ultimately, I’m just so fed up with all of the talk going on nationally about defunding the police.
“And I wanted a way for our local police departments, here in DuBois and Sandy Township, to know that we as a community stand behind them and we support them and support what they do.”
Aaron Fairman from Downtown Imprints, the local screen printing and embroidery shop, will be making the T-shirts. The tops will be available in both short and long-sleeves. The hoodies will be designed by Chad Barnard from CVB Media.
The apparel will be navy-blue. The front will display the message, “Support Your Local Police”, along with the names of both police departments. The back of the shirts and hoodies will say, “Back the Blue” and will have the logos for both police departments.
Suplizio comes from a large family of firefighters, including Dubois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio. Nick shared his thoughts:
“I figured this was a great way for the community to show their support for our local police.”
In a Facebook post on December 4, the DuBois Chamber of Commerce shared an infographic of the available shirts, writing:
“They’re there for us…. Now it’s our turn to be there for them.”
Sandy Township Police Chief Kris Kruzelak appreciated the great effort to recognize police officers. He said:
“I’ve seen it often throughout the year on signs showing their support. Also, different organizations and people are constantly providing lunch at the station.
“And others make donations which help us purchase some of our protective equipment.”
“I think within the last year, where the rest of the nation was kind of against the police, our community has stepped up to support us. Every single officer has recognized that and appreciates that.
“I thank both of the communities for supporting both of our departments. We are all appreciative of it.”
City of DuBois Police Chief Blaine Clark said he believes the department has a great relationship with citizens. He added:
“It is an honor for someone in the community to support the police department and push for the rest of the community to show their support like they always do.
“I made a commitment I was going to bridge that gap when I became the chief of police. It was easy to do because of the citizens we have.”
The Chief further stated:
“I honestly believe that the City of DuBois citizens and the police department have a great relationship and I really think we are far and beyond a lot of this defund the police attitude that is out there across the country.
“I very much appreciate and it’s such an honor to provide police services to this community because I know we have the support and backing of the community.”
The police chiefs were not the only ones to show an outpouring of gratitude and respect for the residents’ kind deeds.
DuBois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio also praised residents for using their creativity to show their local police officers they are behind them.
Manager Suplizio commented:
“What a wonderful way to show our support for the great police officers in our communities. The fact that the guys came up with the idea and ran with it is just another reason why this is a great place to live and work.”
Sandy Township Manager Shawn Arbaugh thanked Manager Suplizio, Downtown Imprints and CVB Media for their exciting and creative “Back the Blue” campaign and commented:
“During these tumultuous times, it is awesome to see Downtown Imprints and other local business show their unwavering support for our local police departments.
“We look forward to working with them to provide additional gear and updates for our police department. Thanks for all you do, it is very much appreciated.”
Nick Suplizio said he hopes the campaign is a success and that the community will continue to show their support for the local police departments. He is hoping that with Christmas right around the corner, people will purchase the apparel as gifts.
What a great gift to both the recipient of the apparel and the law enforcement agencies the purchases support!
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Author: K. Winters