CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Watch out. A Sea of Blue might wash over you today when you least expect it, leaving you with gift cards or toys for the kids.
Every year on June 25, local police carry out random acts of kindness trying to bring the community together.
This year officers in Cleveland, Parma, Brook Park and Warrensville Heights are taking part.
They will hand out $1000 in gift cards to adults along with baseball bats, footballs and more for kids.
Some restaurants have also donated gift cards.
For several years, this has been put together by the law enforcement support group Sea of Blue.
Organizer Mary Jo Graves said, “Officers frequently ask if I have anything coming up they can help with, and for 6 years now on June 25 I’ve sponsored Random Acts of Law Enforcement Kindness day in memory of officer Wayne Leon.”
She added, “This year each gift card comes with a card explaining the reason behind it. Local officers think it’s great. They jump at the chance to do community events with Sea of Blue. This event is one of the favorites.”
Leon was shot to death after a traffic stop in 2000.
Among those taking part in today’s random acts of kindness will be officer Leon’s brother, a Parma police supervisor.
While building up police relations with the general public can be valuable at any time, this year, it may be more critical than in the past.
The last several weeks have been filled with headlines of nationwide protests against police use of force and what many people see as racial injustice.
The restaurants donating this year include West Park Station, Public House, Grayton Road Tavern, Dina’s Pizza, Lago, and Backstage.
Mary Jo Graves said, “And it’s a win-win. The community gets small gifts and local restaurants get patronized.”
Here are the latest headlines from FOX 8
- 16 shot, 2 fatally, at party in Rochester, police say
- Tigers beat Indians 5-2 after Gardenhire’s retirement
- AAA cautions against hanging masks on car mirror
- Minneapolis City Council questions police on spike in crime after movement to defund police
- City of Cleveland notified of 14 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, no new deaths