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Back the blue with ribbons, says Nassau legislator, South Shore leaders 

Nassau Legislature Deputy Presiding Officer Howard J. Kopel,

Nassau Legislature Deputy Presiding Officer Howard J. Kopel, shown earlier this year, joined a group of South Shore town and community leaders Thursday in East Rockaway to announce the latest so-called Blue Ribbon campaign to show support for law enforcement.   Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost

A top Republican in the Nassau Legislature joined South Shore mayors and other officials Thursday in the latest Long Island effort to urge support for cops amid protests over police brutality and calls to defund law enforcement.

The group, led by Legis. Howard J. Kopel (R-Lawrence), the deputy presiding officer of the legislature, gathered for a rally at East Rockaway Village Hall where they echoed other recent calls for the use of a symbolic gesture to show community unity with embattled cops.

"Our police reflect the very best of our communities and have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving our residents," Kopel said. "I urge our residents to hang a blue ribbon on their home, or tree to show that we support law enforcement, and all that they do every single day to keep us safe." 

Joining Kopel were East Rockaway Mayor Bruno Romano, Lawrence Mayor Alex H. Edelman, Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray, Cedarhurst Mayor Ben Weinstock, Cedarhurst Deputy Mayor Ari Brown and trustees Izzy Wasser and Daniel Plaut, East Rockaway Deputy Mayor Gordon Fox and Trustee Steve Fried, Lawrence Village Administrator Ron Goldman, Nassau 4th Precinct police officers and local community members.

Widespread protests quickly spread across Long Island, New York City and the nation after George Floyd died in May while in Minneapolis police custody.

As protests have continued — including one Wednesday in Commack that led to the arrest of three Black Lives Matters demonstrators — so have efforts to back cops through the so-called Blue Ribbon campaign.

Earlier this month, Nassau Legis. C. William Gaylor III (R-Lynbrook) joined Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach, village Police Chief Brian Paladino and community members to announce their version of the campaign.

"This initiative is a great way for our residents to thank [police] for all they do and show their appreciation for their service," Gaylor said at the July 14 event in Lynbrook, a large blue sign behind him with "Lynbrook Supports Our Local Police" written in gold letters below a photo of a village police SUV.

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