Community displays appreciation for police
DOWNINGTOWN >> Sometimes support can go a long way, even as high as the sky.
Downingtown Police Department officers and staff recently received support from the community during the last Summer Jam series, a community event. At that time, people could sign their name and write a message on a balloon. About 35 balloons with messages written on both sides were then brought over to the Municipal Hall and displayed on the flag pole that Friday night.
“Boys in blue,” one balloon reads, “we love you!”
Many of the balloons said thank you and were signed by name or a business organization.
“Thank you for all you do!” The Burns family signed the balloon.
Several messages also included thanking the police for their ser-
vice, for a job well done, protecting the community and for making the community a safe place to live.
Downingtown Police Chief Howard Holland said they treasured the “very supportive” messages that encouraged them. Some messages were addressed to the “wonderful crew” that “keeps us safe.”
“We appreciate the continued support from the community members,” Holland said.
They also received that same support from the local elected officials.
Borough Councilwoman Ann Feldman wrote, “thank you for your service!” Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell wrote, “Thank you for representing the best of Downingtown. Hashtag small town heaven. Appreciate your local service.” State Rep. Harry Lewis, R-74, of Caln, and his staff thanked the officers “for all you do. Stay safe.”
The police were also thanked by the residents for all their efforts during “hard days” and saying “all lives matter.” Several signed their balloons with “much love.”
The supportive event occurred after national protests in the summer following police shootings in July that killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, both black men. Ten police officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide that same month, in addition to several who were injured. Event representatives said that despite the timing of national protests and duty deaths, the event was developed to show support to police for their local assistance.
The DowningtownThorndale Chamber of Commerce wrote, “God bless all of you. Thanks a million. Thanks for being there.”
Holland noted that Mario Spoto and Hank Hamilton from the Downingtown-Thorndale Chamber of Commerce inquired about the community outreach the police department has in the borough and East Caln, where the department serves. Holland provided them with a list of the 56 events the Downingtown Police Department assists with, including drug take-back events every October, 5K events, providing security at the Downingtown high school football games and more.
Holland said the chamber members knew about their additional public service, and were pleasantly surprised at such a high amount of events that the police offer their assistance. He said the chamber members, who wanted to be supportive of the police, developed the idea to honor the police at the Summer Jam in August.
“The best protection for the best community,” another balloon states. “Thanks!”
The Downingtown Summer Jam Series is held the last Friday of each summer month at the Concert Gazebo in Kerr Park with live musical acts, local crafters, food and beer. The Downingtown Main Street Association coordinated the series, a free event to the public.
“Thank you so much,” wrote Jordan, 5, of Downingtown. “Protect and serve.”
Community members wrote supportive messages on balloons to the Downingtown Police Department officers and staff, which were displayed at Borough Hall and the police station.