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'Back the Blue' gathering in St. Joseph to show support for police

NOW: ’Back the Blue’ gathering in St. Joseph to show support for police

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. --- Neighbors in St. Joseph came together at Lake Bluff Park on Tuesday to ‘Back the Blue’—showing their support for local law enforcement agencies during a time of national unrest.

“We really need the police and they do such a wonderful job,” Berrien County resident, Susan Akens said. “And they put on their lives on the line for us every day.”

Dozens of people lined up with signs and flags to show appreciation for those working on the front lines every day.

“And I’m going to tear up, because these are my family members,” Akens said. “These are our friends. We’re all on the same side….they do a wonderful job.”

The ‘Back the Blue’ gathering on Tuesday comes as weeks of protests continue following the civil unrest across the country, with many even calling to defund the police.

“I think it’s important with everything that’s going on for people to realize or for the officers to realize how many in the community are supporting them and have their backs,” Lincoln Township resident, Amy Pheifer said. “I mean they put on that uniform every day, they take their life into their own hands.”

“And that’s, that’s the sad thing about all of this,” supporter Marites Barker said.

Barker’s husband is with Michigan State Police.

“We don’t know whether police officers are going to go home and be with their family,” Barker said. “And I think that’s important to remember, that they have families.”

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey has been in law enforcement for 45 years and said the large turnout was reassuring.

“We’re here to protect them,” Sheriff Bailey said. “And we see that for this group that’s here that they appreciate what the men and women do every day to keep their cities and townships and villages safe, and does my heart good.”

With everything going on nationwide, Sheriff Bailey said they are going to be there, no matter what.

“We’re not going to slow down in our affects, our ability to protect our cities and our counties,” Sheriff Bailey said. “We’re going to get through this and we’re going to be better after it’s all over as Americans.”

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