Communities Offer Support and Encouragement to Law Enforcement and First Responders

During a time when law enforcement has received a barrage of criticism and scrutiny, some community members are trying to reach out with support for officers unduly caught up in the targeting and negativity.

In the weeks that have passed since the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, police and law enforcement officers as a whole have found themselves in the crosshairs, literally and figuratively, as communities reel and call for justice.

In some cases, officers and other first responders are being interfered with while trying to respond to emergencies and perform life-saving procedures, according to comments made by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo this week.

What’s happening, according to some community members, is that all law enforcement officers seem to be getting vilified for the actions of a few and they believe that law enforcement’s service to their communities is being underappreciated.

Alpha News has tracked down several stories of community members reaching out to support local law enforcement and other first responders through donations of care packages, gift cards, letters of support and a “rally” to show support planned for this Saturday.

Last week, Allina Emergency Medical Services posted on Facebook giving thanks for an anonymous donation of gift cards for their crews. 

The Coon Rapids Police Department recently posted a thank you to community members who have paid in advance for officer’s meals, offered a friendly wave and for the trust being extended to them as they patrol local neighborhoods. 

Kellie Elise, of Anoka County, has begun a campaign of collecting notes of support for local law enforcement and has been hand-delivering them along with care packages to local police departments.

Elise said she and her husband were looking for a way to support their local police and she reached out in a local community group to see if anyone wanted to participate in writing thank you notes. 

Elise said her initial request for notes “has turned into so much more” that she’s planning to expand care package deliveries to other law enforcement departments. “It’s amazing,” she said of the community outpouring of support she’s witnessing. Elise said that others who want to participate by submitting notes or other donations can email her at kemn2300@gmail.com.

This Saturday, June 20 from noon to 2 p.m., a “rally” to show support for law enforcement will be held at the intersection of Round Lake Boulevard and Bunker Lake Boulevard at a busy intersection near the borders of Andover, Anoka And Coon Rapids. 

The rally’s organizer, Michael Nordstrom of Andover, said he felt compelled to do something after hearing from a friend who is a law enforcement officer.

The officer relayed to Nordstrom that they felt that law enforcement officers had become “vilified” in the media following the death of George Floyd. So much so, the officer said, that they were being harassed when they would even stop at local convenience stores for snacks and water during their shifts in the days that followed the death.

Nordstrom said that conversation prompted him to gather up pre-made snacks, beef jerky, bananas and beverages and he dropped them off at the sheriff’s office on a recent Saturday. He said he wanted officers to have access to those items if they didn’t feel comfortable stopping at a local convenience stores right now.

The “rally” idea, Nordstrom said, is just his way of wanting to show visible support to the area’s law enforcement. He said he’s heard from several people who plan to show up. Nordstrom said their plan is to hold a peaceful show of support holding signs on the corners lining the intersection. Nordstrom said that if anyone wants to contribute toward gift cards or care packages, he will collect those items at the rally, also.

“They’re doing a job I could never do,” Nordstrom said, “it’s a tiny gesture, but we appreciate you.”

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