OLMSTED TOWNSHIP – Two small communities joined in their support for the men and women who protect and serve. They may not have been loud, but their message was clear: blue lives matter. About 200 people of Olmsted Township and Olmsted Falls took the streets Saturday for a Sea of Blue Rally and March. "We should all be supporting our police officers. Without them, where would we be? I'd go to any community to support our officers," Olmsted Township resident Linda Lakatos said.
After attending the Cleveland Sea of Blue Rally in December, organizer Karen Corrigan felt every community should do this. "They want to go home knowing that they are appreciated and respected for a job that most people wouldn't have the guts to do. At the end of their day, they just want to go home, just like us-- after all, all lives matter," Corrigan told the crowd.
Saturday’s rally was in response to other demonstrations that were critical of recent police actions in Ferguson, New York and Cleveland. That was the main reason Cleveland police officer Demetrius Madison attended the Sea of Blue rally. "In light of all the incidences happening with police, I just want to come and support my fellow police officers,” he said.
Retired Cleveland Police Chief Ed Kovacic said he never thought he'd see a gathering like this supporting the police. "Attack police officers for doing their jobs, where is this country going and how can we stop it? Well, the answer is here today with groups like this who will stand up and say we support the police, we are behind them, we need them, we want them,” Kovacic said.
Nick Gresko believes police deserve more gratitude. His brother, Willoughby officer Jason Gresko was killed in the line of duty. "The President should declare a National Day of support for police. He should send a clear message to all criminals that he appreciates the willingness of all officers living or who have made the ultimate sacrifice and that their lives have meaning,” Gresko said.
Proceeds from sales of Sea of Blue shirts and merchandise will go the Northeast Ohio Fallen Heroes Fund. They are available at the Luna Team Shop in Berea or online at LunaTeamShop.com.