By: Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
Members of Lynnwood’s Citizens Patrol Program presented Lynnwood Police Department (LPD) officers with a sign displaying encouraging messages on Wednesday, August 5, to reinforce their support for local law enforcement.
“We wanted to show our solidarity, love, and support for our Law Enforcement team in Lynnwood,” said Citizens Patrol Program member Phong Nguyen.
For weeks, Nguyen, owner of the local business Anna’s Home Furnishings, orchestrated public safety and police volunteers to visit his store and write a personalized message to the Lynnwood police on a paper star.
Collecting the stars, Citizens Patrol Program member Leslie Berntson laid out the design, arranging them in alternating colors to reflect contrasting stripes on the American Flag’s design. A blue line runs throughout the stars, containing wordage expressing love for the LPD.
“I just didn’t like all of the stuff going on in the media, all of the anti-police stuff,” said Berntson explaining her participation in the creation of the sign.
During a short speech to LPD staff, Nguyen addressed the current criticism that police forces are facing and the national movement calling for law enforcement reform and defunding.
“At a historic time when people are choosing to demoralize the police by defunding the police, truthfully we should be refunding the police because you guys put more into your jobs than what you often get out of it,” stated Nguyen.
Citing the recent death of Bothell Police Officer Jonathan Schoop in the line of duty, Nguyen said that support for police officers’ efforts to serve their communities is often misaligned, police putting more into their professions than what they get out of it.
“All of us here know that officers like Officer Schoop made the ultimate sacrifice just doing his job protecting and serving people, people you didn’t even know, and sometimes people who don’t even care to know you,” said Nguyen.
LPD’s Interim Chief of Police Jim Nelson expressed his gratitude for the Citizen Patrol Program members’ effort to show their support for his staff, calling them an “incredible volunteer group.”
“The hours and dedication they put into our community, it is just truly incredible. I almost feel like we should be giving something to them,” said Nelson. “We really appreciate their support, not only to the police department but to the entire community.”