A group that supports police and other first responders stopped outside the Copperas Cove police station and others in the Killeen area Saturday in a show of support for local police officers.
About 50 to 100 members from Project Overwatch, along with riders from Wind Therapy Freedom Riders, a national motorcycle organization, and members of the community, stopped outside several police stations, including Copperas Cove.
Kevin Miller, public information officer for Copperas Cove Police Department said he was humbled by the rally.
“I did not expect the turnout to be as big as it was,” he said. “I thought it would be around 20 or 30 people, but they came out and supported us and we are grateful.”
Miller said that the community of Copperas Cove has supported the department, and he is fortunate for that.
“Anytime we get support from the community is overwhelming,” he said. “We deeply appreciate it, especially in times like this where a lot of times law enforcement is not appreciated.”
Project Overwatch is a veteran-based organization that supports first responders, said Haley Brown, marketing manager for the organization.
“We support firefighters and police officers, and we want them to know that they are not alone and there are people that are here for them.”
Luis Rodriguez, national president for Wind Therapy Freedom Riders, said his riders came to support the local police.
“The goal is to have community events and let the police officers know that the community is behind them,” he said. “As much as the news carries all of the bad stuff that is going on and anti-police rhetoric, we are out here to let them know that the community does care and we love and support them.”
Rodriguez said the organization goes out to police stations and shakes their hands and give out their business cards.
“If the department has like a parade or anything like that and they want motorcycles for it, we come out,” he said, “If they have fundraisers or if an officer needs help — anytime that they need community involvement we will come out and help. They can count on us and we will be there,”
Jamahl Labbe, president of Project Overwatch, said the morale for the police department is down right now,
“The loudest voices are the negative voices,” he said, “We are countering that and trying to find a balance.”
Rodriguez said the turnout for the rally was a success as a whole.
“We had community members come out to thank their local departments,” he said, “Almost every chief of police came out in support of their officers.”
Other stops on the rally included Nolanville, Harker Heights, Killeen and Lampasas.
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