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‘Back the Blue’ March shows support for Peoria law enforcement

back the blue

PEORIA (WEEK) - Starting at Liberty Park, the 'Back the Blue' March made its way through downtown Peoria to show support for the Peoria Police Department.

Responding to the recent 'defund the police' push, event organizer and Army veteran Sheila Trout thought it was time for action.

"I just thought that's it. I'm going to try to do something," said Trout.

Trout said defunding the police will not solve any crime issues in Peoria.

"If you go into [high crime] areas and you talk to the moms and grandmas they'll tell you we need more police in this area to protect our children not less. What are you doing?" said Trout.

According to Trout, the march had nothing to do with going against the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, but rather a chance to show and give "love back to the officers."

"This gives me hope that people are still willing to come out for good and do something and do something to give back to people that give so much to us," said Trout.

Retired police officer, Todd Adkisson, said he came to the march to support his brothers and sisters still on the force.

"There's a lot of hate in America right now and it can't be that way. Everyone black, white, brown, whatever has to work together," said Adkisson.

Trout said the incidents that have sparked protest do not represent all police officers.

"I applaud reform I think you do have police departments, police districts, you have some police officers that there needs to be infrastructure and police reform done but to profile and group all of our departments and all of our law enforcement and our civil servants into that. That's criminal," said Trout.

Trout hopes this march will start conversation in the community to fix what she sees as a divide.

Paige Blanzy

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