On October 13, police supporters gathered on the Chestnut Street Bridge situated over I-295 in Springfield, Massachusetts, according to Western Mass News. The community banded together to pay tribute to fallen officers who died in the line of duty and current officers who continue to serve Springfield.
Flags were flown from the bridge and waved above I-295. Supporters brought signs and images of fallen officers to the tribute, Western Mass News reports.
One of the attendees, Maura Schiavina, lost her brother, Michael Schiavina, when he was killed during a traffic stop in 1985. “Since the incident with George Floyd and all the other issues that have gone on with police, it just seems like we've been demonized that all cops are bad,” Schiavina explained to Western Mass News.
Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood says she is having trouble staffing her department and that her department is losing good police officers at an alarming rate, the outlet reports.
“They have to start backing the good cops because I'm losing them. They're resigning and retiring at a rate that I've never seen, so I think this is important for both the cops and the community,” Clapprood told Western Mass News, adding:
It's good not only for police morale, but we get a lot of cards and letters and encouragement from people, ‘what can we do where can we go. I think when we organize these things, it gives them an outlet to say, ‘hey, they back us, and they understand that the overwhelming majority of us are good cops. We work hard, and we're out there for the right reasons.'
“It's important we also acknowledge the importance of what our police officers do day in and day out,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno told Western Mass News.
While Springfield held a localized tribute, larger ceremonies took place in Washington D.C. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) organized multiple ceremonies in the nation's capital between October 13 and October 17. Officers from around the country went to Washington to honor America's fallen officers and their families.
Families of fallen officers arrived on October 13 to commemorate National Police Weekend.
A candlelit vigil took place at the National Mall on October 14, which honored the United States's fallen police officers.
A wreath-laying ceremony took place at 2:00 p.m. on October 16 where honor guards from across the country kept vigil until midnight.
The touching tributes and support for the police come after many prominent figures on the left have called for defunding law enforcement across the country for over a year.
WATCH: Here is 7 minutes of Democrats saying we should “Defund the Police.”pic.twitter.com/lrY2hd0nlD
— GOP (@GOP) October 8, 2021