Pennsylvania man joins with other businesses to start a “Back the Blue” campaign: ‘It’s our turn to be there for them’

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DUBOIS, PA – In a climate where law enforcement is portrayed and perceived as the enemy, showing support for law enforcement may not be the easiest way to win friends and influence enemies.

But try telling that to a Pennsylvania community who is proud to show some love for their law enforcement.

A resident in DuBois, Pennsylvania has teamed up with several local businesses and recently started a campaign called “Back the Blue’. Their mission is simple, to show support for local law enforcement agencies.

Resident Nick Suplizio came up with the idea to sell pro-police t-shirts and hoodies. The proceeds would then be given to local police departments.

Pennsylvania man joins with other businesses to start a "Back the Blue" campaign: 'It's our turn to be there for them'

 

Suplizio told the Courier Express:

“Ultimately, I’m just so fed up with all of the talk going on nationally about defunding the police.

“And I wanted a way for our local police departments, here in DuBois and Sandy Township, to know that we as a community stand behind them and we support them and support what they do.”

Aaron Fairman from Downtown Imprints, the local screen printing and embroidery shop, will be making the T-shirts. The tops will be available in both short and long-sleeves.  The hoodies will be designed by Chad Barnard from CVB Media.

The apparel will be navy-blue. The front will display the message, “Support Your Local Police”, along with the names of both police departments. The back of the shirts and hoodies will say, “Back the Blue” and will have the logos for both police departments.

Suplizio comes from a large family of firefighters, including Dubois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio. Nick shared his thoughts:

“I figured this was a great way for the community to show their support for our local police.”

In a Facebook post on December 4, the DuBois Chamber of Commerce shared an infographic of the available shirts, writing:

“They’re there for us…. Now it’s our turn to be there for them.”

Sandy Township Police Chief Kris Kruzelak appreciated the great effort to recognize police officers.  He said:

“I’ve seen it often throughout the year on signs showing their support. Also, different organizations and people are constantly providing lunch at the station.

“And others make donations which help us purchase some of our protective equipment.”

He continued:

“I think within the last year, where the rest of the nation was kind of against the police, our community has stepped up to support us. Every single officer has recognized that and appreciates that.

“I thank both of the communities for supporting both of our departments. We are all appreciative of it.”

Pennsylvania man joins with other businesses to start a "Back the Blue" campaign: 'It's our turn to be there for them'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of DuBois Police Chief Blaine Clark said he believes the department has a great relationship with citizens. He added:

“It is an honor for someone in the community to support the police department and push for the rest of the community to show their support like they always do.

“I made a commitment I was going to bridge that gap when I became the chief of police. It was easy to do because of the citizens we have.”

The Chief further stated:

“I honestly believe that the City of DuBois citizens and the police department have a great relationship and I really think we are far and beyond a lot of this defund the police attitude that is out there across the country.

“I very much appreciate and it’s such an honor to provide police services to this community because I know we have the support and backing of the community.”

The police chiefs were not the only ones to show an outpouring of gratitude and respect for the residents’ kind deeds.

DuBois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio also praised residents for using their creativity to show their local police officers they are behind them.

Pennsylvania man joins with other businesses to start a "Back the Blue" campaign: 'It's our turn to be there for them'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manager Suplizio commented:

“What a wonderful way to show our support for the great police officers in our communities. The fact that the guys came up with the idea and ran with it is just another reason why this is a great place to live and work.”

Sandy Township Manager Shawn Arbaugh thanked Manager Suplizio, Downtown Imprints and CVB Media for their exciting and creative “Back the Blue” campaign and commented:

“During these tumultuous times, it is awesome to see Downtown Imprints and other local business show their unwavering support for our local police departments.

“We look forward to working with them to provide additional gear and updates for our police department. Thanks for all you do, it is very much appreciated.”

Nick Suplizio said he hopes the campaign is a success and that the community will continue to show their support for the local police departments. He is hoping that with Christmas right around the corner, people will purchase the apparel as gifts.

What a great gift to both the recipient of the apparel and the law enforcement agencies the purchases support!

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Texas Governor Abbott signs ‘Back The Blue’ pledge – vows to defund cities that defund the police

10/29/2020

HOUSTON, TX – With the calls to defund police having been sparked earlier this year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is now among the elected officials nationwide taking a stand against cities and localities attempting to deplete funding for police departments.

The Lone Star State governor has presented what he calls the “Back the Blue” pledge, which this pledge includes proposals to defund cities that opt to defund their police.

When speaking about the pledge in question, Governor Abbott stated the following:

“We have a duty to support the man and women who risk their lives to keep us safe. That is why we’re asking every elected official in the state of Texas – as well as every Texan – to join us in signing this ‘Back the Blue’ pledge.

This is a commitment to fight any efforts, at any level, to defund police. And already more than 125,000 Texans have signed this pledge.”

The Texas governor was joined by numerous people during the announcement, which included Senator John Cornyn, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.

Commenting on the consequences of defunding police departments in various cities, Governor Abbott said that enabling such efforts only “invites crime” into the respective areas that choose to defund their police departments:

“To defund the police, like what we’ve seen in Austin, and what’s reverberating in cities across the state…they are disgraceful…They are reckless. It invites crime into our communities, and it endangers law enforcement officers and their families.”

Dr. James Douglas from the Houston NAACP is critical of Governor Abbott’s take on defunding police departments, alleging that the governor doesn’t understand what proponents of the movement are “talking about”:

“Rather than militarizing the police, we need to get them some help so they can properly deal with the public. And that’s what defunding the police is talking about. Putting the money in the place where they can do a more effective job of policing.”

Nonetheless, Governor Abbott says that during the upcoming legislative session, he plans to propose said effort in defunding cities that defund police departments.

On top of that measure, the governor also plans to present legislation that removes annexation powers from cities that defund police, offer protections to officers that deal with riots and also create mandatory minimum sentences for offenders who assault police during riots.

When remarking on how the city of Austin slashed a third of their police budget, Governor Abbott entertained the possibility that the state should take over policing certain areas in Austin that have been affected by the defunding:

“We will not allow that core function to be undermined by the cities that seek to defund and dismantle the law enforcement agencies that have a sworn duty to preserve and protect their communities.”

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick also delivered accolades to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, due to the Houston mayor calling for additional funding for police:

“They are not a Republican. They are doing the right thing. The judges in this county are not. The DA is not. Police go out there and put their lives on the line, arrest someone and they are out the next day … hardened criminals.”

Apparently the Harris County District Attorney’s Office was not thrilled by the comments made by Patrick regarding not “doing the right thing,” pointing to the fact that the DA has little control over criminals getting released from jail on bond.

The HCDAO’s spokesman, Dane Schiller, released this statement in response to Patrick’s comments:

“We work hard every day to protect the public and hold criminals accountable. Texas law is crystal clear: bail is set by judge, not prosecutors. It is a judge’s duty to decide when, how, and if a defendant should be released on bail pending trial.”

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As mentioned earlier, Governor Abbott is not the first to have suggested defunding cities that defund police.

Florida Governor Rick DeSantis shared the same sentiments back in September. 

Here’s that report. 

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FLORIDA – In what can only be described as the most aggressive and encompassing form of combatting the defunding of police endeavors and the violent riots that go in tandem with those efforts, Governor Rick DeSantis proposed legislation that has been dubbed as the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act”.

And by reviewing the proposed legislation highlights, those in favor of riot-free cities are likely to cheer…as for those adoring or engaging in riots, they’re not exactly thrilled.

But one of the more interesting portions in this legislation is state grants or aid will be pulled from local governments that decide to defund their police departments.

The proposed act is broken down into three separate sections, which are labeled as:

  • New criminal offenses to combat rioting, looting and violence
  • Increased penalties
  • Citizen and taxpayer protection measures

From what the breakdown of each section reads, this would be a monumental tool to cease the types of acts that many have witnessed across the country over the past few months in the era of rioting, arson and looting.

According to the first section dedicated to combatting the likes of rioting, the following is written:

“Prohibition on Violent or Disorderly Assemblies: 3rd degree felony when 7 or more person are involved in an assembly and cause damage to property or injure other persons.”

While this may sound an awful lot like a riot, Florida law is rather vague on the definition of a riot – which then reverts to interpretation of rioting in common law – but also affords an additional charge for acts akin to rioting (basically, two felonies charges instead of one).

The first section on the proposed legislation continued with laws against “obstructing roadways” that would also make it legal for drivers harassed by a mob of unpermitted protesters to flee from safety and not suffer any legal consequences for possible death or injury to said members of the mob. Obstructing the roadway would also result in a 3rd degree felony.

Also, protesters harassing patrons of establishments “such as a restaurant” would result in a misdemeanor. What that would mean is a group of people who were say surrounding someone having a meal and yelling at them to raise their fist for BLM would all get arrested.

That’s not all though – toppling monuments or damaging any public property during a riot or protest will also land someone with a 2nd degree felony if this legislation passes. But this legislation gets even better…because it would also utilize RICO liability for anyone who is found to have funded or organized any violent or disorderly assembly.

When it comes to the “increased penalties” portion of the act, malefactors who strike a law enforcement with anything – be it fist or projectile – during any “violent or disorderly assembly” would have to spend a minimum of six months in jail.

Further sentence enhancements are also mentioned for anyone throwing an object during a riot that strikes anyone, be they law enforcement or not. Also, anyone who travels from out of state to participate in “a violent or disorderly assembly” will get a sentence enhancement for alleged crimes.

But section three, dubbed as the “citizen and taxpayer protection measures” really reinforces that this act is aimed at making sure innocent people affected by these riots will attain justice – and that local governments will be held accountable for enabling the acts of rioters:

  • No “Defund the Police” Permitted: Prohibits state grants or aid to any local government that slashes the budget for law enforcement services.
  • Victim Compensation: Waives sovereign immunity to allow a victim of a crime related to a violent or disorderly assembly to sue local government for damages where the local government is grossly negligent in protecting persons or property.
  • Government Employee/Benefits: Terminates state benefits and makes anyone ineligible for employment by state/local government if convicted of participating in a violent or disorderly assembly.
  • Bail: No bond or bail until first appearance in court if charged with a crime related to participating in a violent or disorderly assembly; rebuttable presumption against bond or bail after first appearance.

It’s with little surprise that those in support of the riots are mad – or even still trying to lay blame on police officers for people rioting and burning down buildings.

But aside from those upset, many online are absolutely thrilled at the proposed legislation brought by Governor DeSantis.

And all things considered, it’s hard not understand why many would be on board with an act of this magnitude.

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