Community to celebrate local law enforcement

Published 3:24 pm Monday, November 14, 2022

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

The entire community and all first responders are invited to attend Operation Blue Line Saturday, Nov. 19, 1-5 p.m. at Goose Pond Park. The organization began in 2020 to show support to law enforcement officers during “Defund the Police” campaigns. Group organizer Tony Iturbide felt “God inspired” to create an event to show support.

“Law Enforcement Officers sacrifice so much to receive so little,” said event coordinator April Knox-Coker. “They have a dangerous job. They spend time away from their families during holidays and birthdays. They are not paid a lot. They do it because they want to do it.”

Knox-Coker said she hopes that all first responders will come to be honored, but especially law enforcement officers.

“We will have authentic Mexican food available for the community, which will be free to all first responders,” said Knox-Coker. “We will also be giving away 200 bags of groceries away to the community. We know the holidays are coming up, and it is a difficult time for people financially.”

Operation Blue Line is an organization unique to Chilton County. Organizers hope that Law Enforcement officials feel appreciated and supported in a way that only a small-town community can give back and show. They also see the event as an opportunity to help bridge community members with law enforcement.

“We want to humanize the badge,” said Knox-Coker. “So many people are taught to be afraid of the police. This is an opportunity for families to come out, see that police officers are human and eat lunch with them. This is a way to show support to officers and while also helping out the community.”

Bouncy houses and music will also be available during the event.

Goose Pond Park is located at 906 Seventh Street in Clanton.

For more information, to become an organizer or supporter, contact Operation Blue Line at 205-990-8060 or follow them on Facebook.