Hundreds of people filled The Circle in Georgetown July 13 for a rally to show appreciation for law enforcement.
Several elected officials spoke about the importance of supporting local police during a time when they are falling under increased scrutiny across the nation.
“Our respect for those in blue goes much deeper than this rally,” said organizer Sen. Brian Pettyjohn of Georgetown. “It also takes people standing up and speaking out.”
“We are seeing our police berated and undermined because of the actions of a very small percentage of bad officers. The vast majority are honorable,” Pettyjohn said. “What's going on hurts us and we take it personally. As we support our families, we need to support law enforcement.”
“It's not one against the other. We are all one community,” said Georgetown Police Chief R.L. Hughes.
Taking part were Sen. Gerald Hocker, Sen. Bryant Richardson, Rep. Dan Short, Sen. Dave Wilson, Rep. Ruth Briggs King, Rep. Bryan Shupe, Pettyjohn, Rep. Steve Smyk, Rep. Ron Gray, Rep. Jesse Vanderwende, Sussex County Council President Mike Vincent, Council Vice President Irwin “I.G.” Burton, Councilman John Rieley and Seaford Councilman Dan Henderson.
Father William Coco, of St. Edmund Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, offered an opening prayer.
Jane Brady, a retired prosecutor, attorney general and judge, said she does not like what is occurring in the justice system. She said during her career she worked every minute to have a just, respectful system. “It's about being fair and holding people accountable,” she said. “People talk about reform. What we need is to bring back the voice of victims of crime and will continue to work to do that.”
Pettyjohn thanked the officers and chiefs who attended the event and said that Delaware State Police could not participate because of a change-of-command ceremony that night.