Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said that Oyster Bay will join Americans across the country with the "Back the Blue" Ribbon Campaign and celebrate National Police Appreciation Week. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino stood Monday at a Plainedge memorial to a fallen cop and urged community residents to honor law enforcement next week with a blue ribbon outside their home or business.

The "Back the Blue" ribbon campaign coincides with National Police Week, which begins Sunday nationwide and continues through May 21. The week pays tribute to active law enforcement officers as well as those who died in the line of duty.

At a news conference Monday in Plainedge Park, Saladino and other community leaders met at a memorial to NYPD Officer Brian Moore —  killed in the line of duty in May 2015 — to publicize the campaign.

"They are our family members, our friends and our neighbors," Saladino said. "We could not enjoy our quality of life without the brave men and women in law enforcement."

Moore, of Massapequa, was shot in the head in Queens while working in plainclothes by a man he was questioning about carrying a gun, the NYPD said at the time.

Nassau County, the Village of Lynbrook and other locations across the region have promoted similar events in recent years to honor cops.

The latest campaign comes after a period of historic challenges for law enforcement on Long Island and across the country over the past two years. The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer as the pandemic raged, sparked protests, legislation to improve police transparency and movements nationwide to "defund" the police — shift funding to social service initiatives meant to prevent crime.

On Long Island and in New York City, police responded to the protests, sometimes hampered by officers unable to work after being sick with COVID-19.

Nassau County Police Benevolent Association president Tom Shevlin said a blue ribbon is a simple way of showing appreciation to law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day.

"Police officers put a bulletproof vest on every single day and night they go to work," Shevlin said. "They kiss their loved ones goodbye to protect all of you, our communities; your families. They're willing to do that. They're willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice. And now it's time to show we all respect them. That all of you have our backs."

Residents can obtain a blue ribbon in person at Oyster Bay town offices, through Facebook or by calling 516-624-6380.

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