Honks and waves greeted about 75-100 people gathered to support the Vernon Police Department on Saturday morning by the Vernon CVS.
The Vernon Fire Department also drove by with sirens blaring in support.
Vernon Mayor Howard Burrell attended and said he was there to leave no doubt that he strongly supports the Vernon Police Dept. Additionally, he said, his support for the Vernon Police Dept. was not simply based on the 6 months that he has been mayor, but it was also based on the 40 years he has lived in Vernon Township.
Furthermore, he said, he wished that people would judge the police department in the same way Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We should judge all individuals by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.”
Burrell said he would like to modify that and say, “Our law enforcement people should not be judged by the color of their uniform, but by the quality of their deeds, and they all should not be painted with a broad brush because of the ill actions of a few.”
In conclusion, he said, “I support the Vernon Police and under my leadership, they will not be defunded, and they will always be supported.”
Two other officials and candidates also attended to show their support of the police: Vernon Councilman and Candidate Andrew Pitsker and Congressional Candidate Frank Pallotta.
Ken and Annmarie Burns, Martin O’Donnell, Matt Conway, and Steve Dunlop organized the rally.
Burns said with all the disrespect being shown to police across the country, they wanted to show the Vernon Police Department, “Who are very, very good officers, some respect and some love, so we said we would come out and give them some support.”
O’Donnell said it is a great thing, with the townspeople getting together, showing love to the police department.
“With all the stuff going on in this world that they are not forgotten in the mix,” he said. “You are dealing with a great town that respects the police department. We just want to show them that.”
Burrell is a U.S. Air Force Veteran; and Gregory Sciscoe, a 17-year veteran with the U.S. Marines, also attended.