Thousands add blue line to cars honoring Cpl. Ballard

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Watch the report from John Rawlins on Action News at 6 p.m. on May 4, 2017. (WPVI)

There is still a heavy sense of mourning in Delaware over the murder of State Police Corporal Stephen Ballard as plans progress for his funeral on Friday.

However, in the face of this kind of loss there has been an overwhelming sense of brotherhood.

Thousands of motorists waited in line Thursday - a steady flow of vehicles filling five lanes in a parking lot in Glasgow to apply a thin blue line of tape to their vehicles.

It's a simple symbol of solidarity in memory of slain Cpl. Ballard and a community's support for others in law enforcement.

Organizers of the "Back the Blue" event say when an officer sees that thin blue line on the road it can make his or her day.

"As they pass you and you see that blue line on the back, puts a smile on your face because you know the community still has our back," said Maryland State Police Sgt. Robert Quirk.

On Thursday a temporary structure was erected at the Chase Center in Wilmington as part of a hospitality tent for 1,500 law enforcement officers from across the nation expected for Corporal Ballard's funeral on Friday.

Authorities plan to shut down about seven miles of Northbound I-95 from the Christiana Mall to Wilmington at 6 a.m. and again at 8 a.m. on Friday. The move is to accommodate police coming to the Chase Center.

Drivers using a number of local streets, including Maryland, Madison, Martin Luther King and S. Market should expect funeral related traffic as well.

Corporal Ballard's death has upset many in Delaware. On a memorial banner at Cabela's Sporting Goods in Christiana, people wrote messages of "Rest Easy" and "God Speed."

Brad Slater of Bear explained why he stopped to write something.

"It's one of those things you read about happening in other cities and other states. It doesn't really happen here in our Delaware very often," Slater said.

At the "Back the Blue" event multiple lines of traffic rolled in throughout the day. At the end of the event, $51,000 had been raised for the Corporal's family.

"I cannot believe the outreach and the way community's coming together to honor this officer and help his family," said event organizer Darren McCarnan.

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