Southington goes blue today to support its police - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Southington goes blue today to support its police

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The town of Southington is going blue to support its police officers. (WFSB photo) The town of Southington is going blue to support its police officers. (WFSB photo)
SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

After a summer of unrest and clashes with police across the nation, one Connecticut town is pulling out all the stops to show its unwavering support for the men and women in blue.

Southington is going blue on Friday.

Banners donated by local businesses have been put up around town.

Olivia Conforto, a 12-year-old elementary school student, made sure to show her pride by crafting a cheer for officers.

"It’s a cheer bow to support the police of Southington," she told Eyewitness News.

Children around town wore extra blue while the YMCA left a basket of blue ribbons for its members.

Other people, like Sharon Kleinhen and Beth Gonzalez, posted to social medial to lend their support.

Even 2016 Mrs. Connecticut Allyson Genovese offered her thanks.

See their gestures of support here.

"There's so much going on right now, everybody is just  trying to make them look bad and these guys go out there every day and put their lives on the line," said John Giovannucci of Southington.

Organizers called it a gesture of thanks and support to its police force.

They acknowledged that the timing makes it feel like a reaction to a cascade of controversial national stories about the killings of black men at the hands of police in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, Charlotte and Tulsa, as well as the severe backlash and murders of officers that followed.

However, Lt. Michael Baribault said Southington has always had the backs of its officers.

"Even before this negative stuff, we've had folks dropping off thank you packages [and] little notes, things like that," he said. 

Over the summer, town and business leaders in Southington said they thought of an idea to make sure everyone knew how much they support police. They came up with hosting a day-long event.

Friday is the day. 

"We think it's a great idea," Baribault said. "We work in partnership with our community. We've always had a great relationship with our community and said we'd be in full support of it."

Baribault said in addition to the YMCA ribbons and the signs around town, there will be more officers in schools on Friday interacting with children.

The lieutenant admitted when the idea first arose that officers were surprised. Now, however, he said he could not be more thankful for kindness shown by their community.

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