Many gathered in Upper Darby Township for 'Back The Blue' rally

UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- More than 100 people rallied outside Upper Darby Police headquarters Thursday evening in a show of support for officers who serve the community.

"They're the best police department in the world," said Jim Cook of Broomall.

"They keep our community not just safe but together," said Nicole Lauria of Drexel Hill.

Chants and cheers could be heard as attendees held posters and banners of support along West Chester Pike.

"They've been through hell with COVID-19 and looting," said Mary Novia of Upper Darby. "They've been there making sure we were all safe."

Event organizer Tina Pasciolla Hamilton presented several officers with a plaque that read "Back the Blue" and included a photo of Upper Darby Officer Dennis McNamara who was killed in the line of duty 18 years ago.

The rally came on the heels of nationwide protests against police brutality.

Chuck Krautheim of Folcroft said, "Most people look at all cops are bad. The same as everything else. It's not the overall majority of them."

Also in attendance were members of the Sikh community and bikers from several motorcycle groups.

Several supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement stood quietly off to the side and left after a few minutes.

"We're here to pay our respects because we are American and we respect the police and we'll deal with this issue when we are sitting at the table," said Richard Blye, a community leader.

Organizers said the intention of the rally was not meant to counter or detract from the Black Lives Matter movement, but rather to thank the good men and women who protect and serve.
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