SHOW LOW — When one takes into account the high level of support law enforcement typically gets from local residents, it is not surprising that the Back the Blue March and parade on the Fourth of July and the public gathering at the Show Low Police Department afterward, was a success.
Back the Blue marches have been taking place all over the country recently and more still are planned in various American communities for the near future.
On the other side of that coin, there is a national movement at this time across the country to defund and reform police agencies in the wake of the killing by police of black men and women.
Some even want to abolish police in America as result of the movement for law enforcement reform.
A number of local law enforcement supporters who made the Saturday, July 4, march here in Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside had a different opinion when it comes to abolishing police altogether and about making deep cuts to funding.
Among them Nathan King who helped organize the event.
He said it is ludicrous to think a society of more than 300 million people can function without some sort of police presence and that police can do their job without adequate funding.
“Law enforcement needs the tools and equipment to do their job. If anything we need to give them more funding,” King said. “It would be anarchy if we abolish police. If a burglar breaks into your house who are you gong to call?”
Nolan Redhead, Republican candidate for U.S. Congressional District 1 here in the White Mountains, said he too fully supports law enforcement.
Redhead is an attorney born in Payson and now living in Tucson with his wife, Scottia, and their five children.
Redhead lived in Heber and Snowflake until his family moved to Utah when he was 15 years old.
“I stand beside these men and women,” he said of the people who comprise the thin blue line. “We need to support those on the front lines. We know when we need someone we can call on the police.”
Others like local resident Marie Campbell who attended the post march gathering on the green at the PD headquarters parroted those sentiments.
The march started at the Pinetop-Lakeside Police Department on Neils Hansen Lane in Lakeside at 9 a.m. making its way along White Mountain Boulevard in Lakeside and White Mountain Road in Show Low before turning west on the Deuce of Clubs and marching to the PD headquarters building on the Deuce of Clubs in the center of town.
The event ended a little after 2 p.m.
Organizers of the march said they plan for it to become an annual event to show support for law enforcement.