ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — Support for police officers has been pouring in after the killings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, with Hoosiers still planning events to show officers they care.
In Zionsville Friday, a group gathered with signs, water for the heat, and other gifts for their officers.
“It’s scary out there and we want them to know that we support them and what they’re doing and we appreciate them,” Faith Witzig said.
Witzig, her husband, and kids Hope and Isaac, handed out cupcakes.
When asked what she likes about police officers, Hope Witzig said “that they keep us safe.”
“It’s just that pat on the back, that acknowledgment of what they’re doing, the risk that they take and it just really improves morale,” Zionsville Chief Robert Knox said.
Another group in Pendleton also showed their support. The Hoosier Wheelers gathered in Jeeps, taking a lap around I-465 to show that they care.
At the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, sales of “Back the Blue” merchandise topped $20,000 this week.
FOX59 spoke to Capt. Brian Nanavaty, who runs IMPD’s Office of Professional Development and Police Wellness. Nanavaty is at the forefront of mental health services and policing, even testifying this week before Congress about the importance of supporting police when they seek help.
“When something affects our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, we feel it here also. Have we had an uptick in the number of officers seeking assistance? I can’t say that, but I know it’s on everyone’s mind,” Nanavaty said.
Nanavaty said seeing support does help, and he had another thought on a way the public can help, too.
“Help us identify good people that want to do this job. It’s difficult finding millennials (to do this),” Nanavaty said.
As for the support, Nanavaty said building relationships with the community can make a lasting impact, and Chief Knox said he’d love to see the support keep coming.
“It’s nice to know that you’re appreciated,” Knox said.