DERRY — It was a big show of support in Derry to honor law enforcement.
A police appreciation rally was held June 25 at a grassy spot near the Derry police station on Folsom Road, with dozens of supporters coming out to hold signs, cheer and welcome a lot of horns blaring from supporters driving by.
The event was organized by a contingent of Derry's District 6 state representatives, the "Rockingham 6 Conservatives," as social media and signs stated.
One of those representatives, Katherine Prudhomme-O'Brien, seeks another term at the State House and has filed to run again this fall. Derry has 10 representatives for District 6, nine Republicans and one Democrat.
"These are difficult times for our police officers," Prudhomme-O'Brien said, adding the rally was organized to affirm that law enforcement is valued by the community.
"And I hope the police can hear all of it," she added.
David Love, another Derry state representative seeking another term, said police are the foundation of society.
"And to be taking the beating they are, for the bad deeds of a few is wrong," Love said.
Longtime Derry police Chief Edward Garone spoke out in early June on social media following the death in Minneapolis, Minnesota of George Floyd, saying he felt it was important to remind the community of the police department's mission statement, a statement of values that guide police actions and training as services are provided to the public every day.
"The mission of the Derry Police Department is to protect life and property, enforce the laws of society, maintain order in the community and to assist the public at large in a manner consistent with the rights and dignity of all persons as provided for by law and under the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of New Hampshire," Garone said in his statement on Facebook. "It is my promise to you that we will continue to police Derry with those sentiments at the forefront of every action we take."
Since then, Garone has also appeared before Derry town councilors at a public meeting to stress the importance of training, hiring and making sure all officers are ready to serve the community with respect and dignity.
One supporter at the rally, Nancy Geary, said she came out to show the police department how much they mean to the community.
"Without police there would be chaos," Geary said, adding she has often taken young family members along to the police station to drop off cookies to officers on duty.
"I want to teach them, this is what you do," she said.