PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) More than 200 people held signs and waved flags in a strong and loud show of support for police in Northeast Philadelphia Wednesday night.
A constant parade of honking horns could be heard around the busy corner of Cottman and Frankford Avenues in Mayfair.
The “Back the Blue” rally came after a week filled with demonstrations and protests against police in the wake of recent deadly police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.
"Cops are being verbally beaten down we need to remember police are human,” said organizer Donna DiDonato.
The rally is part of a community movement to publicly support police officers after last week’s deadly police ambush in Dallas.
“It’s respect love and support and that’s what they need,” says one mother and wife of police officer attending the rally.
Tokens of police support big and small are pouring in to departments across the area. The Nether Providence Township Police have been posting pictures of the notes dropped off from local children thanking officers. One note came with a box of cookies. And in Northeast Philadelphia the civilian volunteer Police Advisory Council just donated 12 police bicycles to the 24th District at a cost of $850 each. All money donated by the community.
“If they know we are out there for them and they can depend on us for them it makes it easier for them to do our job,” said Pat Healey, President of the 24th District Police Advisory Council.
“The cops are getting a bad rap. They’re out there trying to keep the community safe,” says Jack Sheridan of Mayfair.
Similar rally was also held at the same time in Roxborough where more than 100 people attended. Many of the attendees were family members or close friends of officers. Many saying the job is as difficult than it’s ever been.
“it makes me feel good and proud for them because I worry every time my son in law or nephew is out there is coming home,” said Mayr Pierce of Overbrook Park.
With every honk of a horn. With every handshake or “thank you” officers say they are feeling the love. But they also say with so much going on around the country police are also under the microscope.
“We don’t wake up in the morning to go out and kill someone. We don’t wake up in the morning to go out and hurt someone. Our job is to help and protect and service the area,” said Capt. Anthony Luca of the 15th District.
Towards the end of the rally a lone protestor holding a Black Lives Matters sign walked up to the group and exchanged words. But minutes later, that protestor was photographed being hugged by the wife of a police officer.
"He says it’s his job. He goes to work every day. He doesn’t think about what could be it’s what’s happening when he goes out the door and that’s it” says Patricia McDonough wife of 15th District officer.
Police reported no problems during either of the rallies.