Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, center, with Suffolk County Police...

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, center, with Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison, left, and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, outside the Hewlett House in Hewlett on Sunday. Credit: James Carbone

Cancer survivors and volunteers joined Long Island politicians and law-enforcement officials on Sunday to tie blue ribbons around trees, poles and fences to show support for police at the Hewlett House cancer center.

The resource center's Executive Director Geri Barish said the Hewlett House Blue Ribbon Initiative was inspired by the pink ribbons worn during Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October to honor victims and survivors of the disease. She hopes residents on Long Island and beyond will also decorate their communities with blue ribbons year-round to demonstrate their support for cops.

"Police are abused and treated like garbage, yet they continue to go out there and serve us," Barish said. "I wanted them to know we support them."

About 200 people attended Sunday’s event at Hewlett House, including Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.

Blakeman, who helped establish Hewlett House in the 1990s when he was the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, said it was especially important to express support for law enforcement in the wake of the fatal shootings of NYPD officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora last month.

Blakeman said he also wanted to honor Nassau Officer Hector Nunez, a 16-year veteran who died of COVID-19 in December, and Michael Califano, a Nassau cop killed Feb. 4, 2012, while writing a traffic summons on the Long Island Expressway.

"It lets the families know that we will never forget them and will always support them," Blakeman said.

Ryder said one reason why he attended Sunday’s event was to bring attention to violence against police, noting that seven NYPD officers, including Rivera and Mora, have been shot since Jan. 1.

"It doesn’t get the attention it should," Ryder said of violence against cops.

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