Community members ‘Back the Blue’

Published 4:38 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Law enforcement agencies across the country have been under fire recently.

That’s why a group of Camellia City residents wanted to show local law enforcement officers that they have the support of the community.

On Monday, dozens of citizens gathered at the Greenville Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office to hand out goody bags and offer thanks for the service the officers provide to the community as part of “Back the Blue” — a campaign designed and dedicated to displaying public support for law enforcement throughout the United States.

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“With all of the tragedies lately involving police officers, we wanted to show our appreciation and support to let them know we back the blue,” said Melisa Campbell, one of the organizers of the local movement.

The “Back the Blue” campaign is the brainchild of Ashley Shepherd, founder of Beautifully Designed Ministries. She put her idea into motion after visiting Dallas a week after five officers were shot and killed by a sniper.

“I believe it’s a thankless job,” Shepherd said. “They sacrifice every single day. It’s not just them it’s their families. They go out every day and I know their families have fears, especially with everything going on right now. I just think it’s important, especially in this time, that we come together and we show that appreciation in practical ways.”

On Monday, citizens in more than 500 cities in all 50 states delivered cards, pre-packaged snacks, bottled water, and even a few hugs, to law enforcement officers.

Campbell said Monday’s event was a “huge success,” as 49 goody bags were delivered to law enforcement officers.

“Families and children gathered to pray, hug and give goody bags filled with love to the officers that work hard to protect this community,” she said. “The community came together for this wonderful service project. The children learned a valuable lesson on what giving back is all about.

A special thank you to everyone that made this day possible.”