Area residents are being asked to BackTheBlue by donating items earmarked for the Middletown Division of Police and participating in a prayer circle Saturday outside the City Building.
BackTheBlue organizers Autumn Doughman and her cousin Bryn Gill said people should meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the City Building parking lot to receive their thin blue line ribbon to show support for Middletown police officers. The group is seeking bottled water, snacks and restaurant gift cards that will be given to the officers, organizers said.
Following the presentation of gifts, there will be a community prayer circle, Doughman said. She added the event is a way to thank the officers and to encourage them to continue their community policing.
“We have an amazing police department,” Doughman said. “They’re one of the reasons this is a great place to be.”
In the days and weeks since nine police officers have been killed in the line of duty, Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said his department and officers have received tremendous support from the community.
He called it “nothing short of amazing.”
Muterspaw said residents have dropped off cookies, doughnuts, cakes and pizzas to the police department. He said officers have received thank you cards and handshakes.
“Those mean a lot … more than you will ever know,” he said. “I have always said this city has a soul. Something a lot of places don’t have. Yes, we have our issues, but when it all comes down to it, Middletown sticks together.”
A similar event was held Sunday morning in Chicago after a police officer was shot in the leg Thursday night. He was treated and released while the alleged shooter was killed.
At the end of the vigil, officers released nine bright blue balloons in honor of the officers recently killed in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Kansas City.
For more information about the Middletown event, contact Doughman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gill at email@example.com.