While not as many law enforcement officers turned out Tuesday for a second walk to support law enforcement in Rolla, there was still a large crowd.
Event organizer Richard Skyles said there was a great turnout for the walk held at Veterans Memorial Park located off Southview Drive in Rolla.
Phelps County Sheriff Rick Lisenbe and other officers with the sheriff’s department attended as did St. James Police Ron Jones along with several members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Before the walk, Lt. Steve Davis, with the patrol, thanked Skyles for organizing a second walk.
Davis said that law enforcement agencies in Phelps County all work closely together and added that the officers appreciate the public support “especially during the times that we have experienced just within the last year.”
Davis said while law enforcement officers have been shown in a negative light, “things are much more positive.”
“Our law enforcement officers today are working in what I would consider to be probably the worst times in modern history,” said Mark Williams, a retired law enforcement officer and “unofficial emcee” for the walk. “They are under attack — literally and figuratively — from all over the country.”
Williams said despite what people may see on Facebook or YouTube, “99.999 percent of law enforcement officers do the right thing day in and day out.”
Williams said while law enforcement officers make mistakes, he called those mistakes rare. “But sadly some people have chosen to politicize it,” Williams said. He thanked all of the officers, adding that those working in law enforcement don’t do their jobs for the glory or pay.
“You do it because you love your community and love your country…we will always have your six and we will always be here to support you,” Williams said.
Catherine Hanaway, former U.S. attorney and Republican candidate for Missouri governor, also attended the walk and gave remarks.
The first walk to support law enforcement held Sept. 8 from the sheriff’s office to the Rolla Police Department drew well over 100 people. While Tuesday’s walk is the last planned in 2015, Skyles said he hopes to do more next year.
Bumper stickers that say “#Police Lives Matter” with an outline of Missouri and blue stripe are for sale for $5 each, with profits going to benefit the Cops Care (formerly Shop With a Cop) program. Through that effort, children who may otherwise do without, get to shop with local law enforcement officers before Christmas each year. For a sticker, call Sharan Holt at 573-578-2095 or Richard Skyles at 573-201-4592.