As the wife of a Nassau County Police Department sergeant, Meredith Wilson, of Merrick, said she wanted to mobilize her community to show solidarity with the police. While out on a run recently, she spotted a lawn sign produced by fellow resident Jennifer Schatzman, which reads, "Racism Has No Home Here," and decided to start a similar initiative.
“I went on Facebook to ask if people would want a sign to support our police, and many people thought it was a great idea,” Wilson said.
She worked with a local printer to design and produce the signs, which features a black and blue base with the saying, “We Support Our Police,” a graphic of the Thin Blue Line flag inlaid in the shape of a badge and a flurry of blue and white stars. Written across the badge is another saying: “Pray for them.”
In one night, 72 residents signed up to receive one of Wilson’s signs, which cost $15 each. The initial order was completed on June 26, and another 40 requests have been placed since then, she said. All the proceeds are returned to the printer.
“I’m planning to bring a sign to a pro-police rally to help this grow,” Wilson said. “When officers see the signs, they’ll know people are supporting them, and they need our support now more than ever.”
More than 100 pro-police signs have popped up on front lawns in Bellmore-Merrick, Wantagh, Garden City and East Islip, according to Wilson. Merokean James Puzzele learned of the signs from Facebook and ordered two on the spot — one for him, and one for his sister.
“My 17-year-old son wants to be a police officer, and although it makes me nervous, I’m proud that he wants to do that,” Puzzele said. “The police need people to stand up for them because not all police are bad. There are a lot of good [officers] that do good jobs.”
Wilson’s signs coincide with another initiative that was unveiled Wednesday by the Nassau County Legislature. The “Blue Ribbon Campaign,” spearheaded by New Hyde Park resident Diane Bentivegna, encourages residents and businesses countywide to display a blue ribbon on their home or business in support of the men and women in law enforcement. The campaign is also intended to “battle anti-police sentiment coupled with calls to ‘defund the police,’” according to a press release.
“Our officers in Nassau County reflect the very best of our communities, and are dedicated to protecting and serving,” said Nassau County PBA President James McDermott. “We appreciate what this blue ribbon means, and we appreciate the support from the residents.”
“I do believe in my heart that people that sign up to be a police officer do it because it’s a calling — it was my husband’s calling,” Wilson added. “It’s important for all of us to appreciate them, and move forward in a positive way together.”
To request a sign, email email@example.com.