COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the discussion about police and community relations continues across the nation, one Midlands group hopes the community will support local law enforcement officers. Organizers with Project Unity USA hope thousands will turn out for a rally in Columbia January 10th.
Project Unity USA planned the rally to get a main message across: that we shouldn't forget about those officers and deputies that love our community and work hard to protect the people.
Project Unity USA founder Bruce Trezevant says with all the tension surrounding law enforcement across the nation, he wanted an event that showed citizens' support for those who serve and protect. He says the support extends across South Carolina.
Trezevant says while it is important for the community to play a role as a watchdog, it's just as important for people to show they stand behind their law enforcement officers.
"I want all the community to come together and let's show the officers here that we do support what they're doing, we support the justice system when they don't stand for allowing officers to do things wrong," he says. "Again, we do want to celebrate these officers that are putting their lives on the line every day. That are doing good things in the community."
Trezevant says the reaction to the planned rally has been positive and many in the community and law enforcement see the need for this kind of demonstration. It's not just for agencies in the Midlands. The group wants to extend the appreciation to officers and deputies across the state.
Speakers from law enforcement agencies and community leaders will talk about what it means to have the community's support. Trezevant says this event is something that has needed to happen for a while.
"The last thing that I want to do is stand by and watch a war break out between law enforcement and the community," he says. "People say it can't happen but then again, they didn't think this would happen that's been going on now. So as Project Unity USA we are going to take the spearhead and we're going to spearhead this effort to bring communities together. This is so important for law enforcement because if you think about it, you can hate them all you want to, but when something happens, who's the first person you're going to call? The police. So let's support them."
He encourages everyone to attend the rally because it sends a message, not only to South Carolina, but to the entire nation that South Carolina supports its law enforcement agencies. The rally is Saturday, January 10th at noon at Finlay Park in Columbia.
The date was changed after this story was previously reported because the City of Columbia agreed to get involved in the event.