After watching the new police union donate 3,000 latex gloves for use by East Ridge police officers, a group of citizens was motivated to hold a “Back the Blue” BBQ and Bake Sale to raise money for basic supplies.
The Back the Blue event is scheduled from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, July 14 at Camp Jordan. The cost is $8 per plate, $5 for a sandwich and chips, and bake sale and raffle tickets are $1. Tickets can be purchased prior to Saturday at Broomes Wrecker Service (4003 Ringgold Road) or The Market Link Gift Shop (4103 Ringgold Road).
“After the national representative from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers donated gloves to the City Council on April 26, it was just clear that something had to be done,” said organizer Jody Grant. “Our crime statistics are not good in East Ridge and our officers are out in the field without some basic supplies.”
- Taser cartridges for each officer to shoot two as part of certification. A purchase order for these cartridges was issued this week by East Ridge government after a year without the cartridges.
- Practice ammunition not readily available.
- Magazines for AR-15 duty rifles.
- Enough scheduled in-service training to maintain timely certification.
- Patrol officers that haven’t been issued a patrol rifle.
- Patrol officers that do not have raincoats.
- Line cars and spare cars for officers; cars in the impound lot that could be repaired.
- SWAT members assigned vests that are 10 years out of date but still used when members are called out. The law enforcement industry nationwide says that vests’ life span is no more than five years.
- No funds to equip needed reserve officers.
- Lack of updated tasers for some full-time and reserve officers.
Local 735 of the IBPO was formed in March 2018 and announced to the City Council at its first meeting in April. Thirty-five of 43 police officers are members of the union.
“There are a lot of people getting more and more involved in their government after learning of the deals Mayor Lambert made with the Exit 1 developers, and the agency he created threatening the homes of private citizens,” said Grant, who organized the East Ridge Citizens for Property Rights group that forced the City Council to dissolve the city’s housing authority. “East Ridge is the second largest city in Hamilton County with nearly 22,000 residents and it speaks poorly of our government that the people who respond to 911 calls do not have the basics. It has to change.”
Grant, who will take the opportunity to invite the City Council to the “Back the Blue” event at the council meeting on Thursday evening, said more than 15 local businesses are donating to the BBQ & Bake Sale. Organizers of the event are hoping for a big turnout from residents of East Ridge and other areas that want to support law enforcement.
“We are proud of the work Local 735 does for the citizens of East Ridge, and I am overwhelmed to see a group of citizens come together in a show of support like this for their officers,” said Ken Allen, a national representative for the IBPO.