Back the Blue march shows community support for the police

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove and Marie Kujawski
Approximately 80 people, many carrying the Thin Blue Line police flag, walked down the sidewalk of Groveport’s Main Street to support the police and other first responders during the Back the Blue march held on Oct. 3. The peaceful march went from the Kroger parking lot to the grassy area near Ace Hardware.
Darlene Faulkner, who along with Michael James, organized the Back the Blue march, carried a sign that read, “No Police, No Peace,” during the march.
Groveport Police Sgt. Josh Short shakes hands with police supporters prior to the Back the Blue march.
Supporters of the Back the Blue march wave flags as the marchers pass by along Main Street.
As part of the Back the Blue march, organizers held a food drive to help the Groveport Food Pantry,. They also collected money to help pay the medical expenses of Little Italy employee, Bob Sines. According to march co-organizer Darlene Faulkner, 352 items were collected for the
Groveport Food Pantry and $100 was raised for the Bob Sines fund. Steve Faulkner is shown here adding a donation of food for the food pantry into a truck.
Interim Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams visited with Back the Blue co-organizer Darlene Faulkner (at right) after the march.
The Back the Blue marchers gathered for a group photo at the end of the march.

About 80 people came out to support the police and other first responders at the Back the Blue march, held on Oct. 3 in Groveport.

The march was peaceful and took place on the sidewalk on the south side of Groveport’s Main Street from the Kroger parking lot to the grassy area near Ace Hardware.

“We wanted to come out and support the heroes – the police, firefighters, medical workers, the military, and others,” said Back the Blue co-organizer Darlene Faulkner. “Police have been getting a beating in the news right now. We’re here to defend the police. They are out there defending and helping us. We want to let them know people care.”

Added Dave Klingbeil, who was one of the marchers, “We’re law abiding, police loving, American citizens.”

There was no visible organized counter-protest to the march along the route, but a few drivers in passing vehicles shouted out words of opposition to the march. However, several passing drivers honked their horns in support of the march and offered encouraging words to the marchers.

Along the route, many people stood in front of their businesses and in the front yards of their homes to offer vocal and visual support to the march and to the police. This support included displays of flags and signs with positive messages. Some of the vocal encouragement for the police and marchers as they passed by included comments such as, “Thank you so much,” “Woo hoo!” and “Thank you, Thank you.”

Many of the marchers carried the Thin Blue Line police flag. Some marchers carried signs supporting the police such as one that read, “No Police, No Peace.”

The Back the Blue walkers were accompanied by a golf cart and a pick-up truck, both festooned with flags, that drove along side of them on Main Street. The march was peaceful and family oriented as the group walked quietly along Main Street. There were no formal speeches and no chanting along the way nor at the beginning and end of the march.

Groveport Interim Police Chief Casey Adams said the Back the Blue march, “Was peaceful and pleasant. The marchers lessened the burden on us (the Groveport Police) by walking on the sidewalk instead of in the street. Plus, there was minimal impact on traffic flow through town. The march was very positive from the participants to the spectators along the route.”

As part of the Back the Blue march, organizers held a food drive to help the Groveport Food Pantry. They also collected money to help pay the medical expenses of Little Italy employee, Bob Sines. According to Faulkner, 352 items were collected for the
Groveport Food Pantry and $100 was raised for the Bob Sines fund.

The Back the Blue march on Oct. 3 was the third march held in Groveport this year by people exercising their Constitutional First Amendment rights.

The two other marches were held by Black Lives Matter supporters, who were protesting against police violence. The first Black Lives Matter march was held June 13 and included about 200 participants. The second Black Lives Matter march was on Aug. 29, but was much smaller with only about 20 participants. In both of these Black Lives Matter marches, the participants walked in the street on Main Street from Kroger to Groveport Park.

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