Communities across the Triangle show support for local police officers
Posted January 3, 2015
Durham, N.C. — After recent attacks on law enforcement officers in Durham and across the country, community members showed their support for police officers Saturday in Durham, Wake and Franklin counties.
Wives and loved ones of officers gathered in front of the Durham Police Department to rally with handmade signs. They said rallies are one example of how they can show their support.
Ali Navarre said that she is concerned for the safety of her husband and fellow officers, and that this time has been hard on her family.
"It has been very stressful worrying about [his] safety," Navarre said. "For us at home, it has been very stressful worrying what the backlash might be towards him because of how people are feeling right now, about police officers and things like that."
Her worry comes at a time of much turmoil for police around the country. On Dec. 20, two New York city police officers were killed by a gunman while sitting in a patrol car. The suspected gunman later committed suicide.
On Christmas day, Durham police officer J.T. West was sitting in his patrol car on Lakeland Street when two men approached his vehicle from behind. As West got out of his car, one of the men pulled out a gun and fired six shots at West, who dove for cover. West wasn't seriously wounded in the incident and managed to return fire as the two men fled, police said.
On Monday afternoon, someone fired a shot at the apartment of an off-duty officer. The officer wasn't wounded, but a sliding glass door to his dining room was shattered. The unidentified officer said he saw a man running into some nearby woods after the shooting.
Steven Preddy organized pot luck dinners in Wake Forest and Franklin county on Saturday evening. He said he wanted the community to have one-on-one time with local law enforcement.
"After the recent Durham shootings and the NYPD assassinations, that gave me the idea," he said. "Somebody has to support the cops."
Wake Forest Police Chief Jeff Leonard, said in the current climate it is very easy for his officers to get down about the job.
"These events make them feel good and makes them ambitious about going out and doing more to try and help," Leonard said.