On Tuesday, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a “Back the Blue Alert” to recognize the thousands of law enforcement officers, citizens and organizations throughout the state coming together to support one another through this pandemic.
Since COVID-19 began to spread in Florida, Moody suspended in-person events to join Floridians in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, Back the Blue Award presentations are currently suspended. However, law enforcement and Floridians continue to go to great lengths to support each other and the medical community as we all work together to end the pandemic.
“Our campaign is designed to highlight law enforcement officers, organizations and citizens taking extraordinary steps to Back the Blue. While this campaign is temporarily on hold, I am overwhelmed with how Floridians and law enforcement are coming together to support each other as we all work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. If I was able, I would issue each and every one of these great Floridians a Back the Blue Award in person, but for now, all I can do is say thank you and keep fighting. Your selflessness and compassion are helping a lot of Floridians through these challenging times,” Moody said.
Reports abound of Florida law enforcement officers providing essential commodities, like hand sanitizers and face masks, to citizens free of charge. Rockledge Police Department officers are volunteering off duty to pick up and deliver prescriptions to residents over 65 or with underlying health conditions so they do not have to risk coming in contact with someone who has COVID-19. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is making and donating face masks to other first responders—about 100 a day. In Miami, school resource officers are helping deliver food to students who may go hungry without daily school lunches. In Hillsborough County, three deputies took quick action to resuscitate a COVID-19 positive man—jeopardizing their health in an attempt to save his life.
These are just a few examples of how law enforcement is going above and beyond to serve the communities they love. Businesses, community organizations and citizens are also showing their appreciation to law enforcement, first responders and medical professionals.
Multiple businesses are offering discounts or free items and meals to first responders and healthcare workers throughout Florida. Costa Sunglasses donated more than 600 face masks to the Daytona Beach Police Department. State Representative Chip LaMarca’s nephew delivered sweet treats to the Lighthouse Point Police Department and the local fire station. One Floridian even ran seven miles waving a huge American flag in honor of our first responders.
Police cruiser parades are quickly becoming a great way to boost the morale of our medical heroes risking their health daily to save lives. These parades are being held almost daily in Florida with the Tampa Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and St. Petersburg Police Department getting in on the action, just to name a few. In Eustice and other Central Florida cities on April 15, Bells of Thanks ceremonies were held with music ringing throughout downtowns in a loud showing of support for first responders.
These are just some of the ways Floridians are coming together to support each other, show gratitude and fight the pandemic. Moody is asking Floridians who can safely contribute, to find a way to say thank you to law enforcement, first responders and the medical professionals risking their health to protect ours.
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