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Selden pro-police rally held near Sixth Precinct

Suffolk County Police Department Inspector William Murphy receives

Suffolk County Police Department Inspector William Murphy receives a hug from Patti Kozlowski in front of the Sixth Precinct in Selden during a pro-police rally on Sunday, July 17, 2016. Credit: James Carbone

Buoyed by a steady stream of honking car horns, about 30 people rallied Sunday to show support for law enforcement in Selden.

They held American flags and signs with slogans like “Back the Blue” and “We Support Law Enforcement” as they stood on Route 25 near the front entrance of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Sixth Precinct.

Patti Kozlowski, 55, a customer service worker from Sound Beach, said she was concerned that an “eye for an eye” mentality was taking hold in the country following the highly publicized recent police killings of African-Americans and the killing of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

“What’s been happening is horrific,” Kozlowski said. “The killing and the hate. Whether it’s because of the color of somebody’s skin or their uniform, it’s horrifying.”

Rally organizer Lauren Michels, 30, of Mount Sinai said she wanted to “thank them for everything they do . . . They risk their lives everyday for us.”

Wearing a shirt that said “Blue Lives Matter” — a counter to the Blacks Lives Matter movement — Michels, an administrative assistant said the issue was close to her heart because her brother is a police officer in Georgia, as well as other relatives and friends.

“All lives matter,” Michels said. “We’re not saying that police lives matter more than anybody else.”

Megan Hatzidakis, 30, a nurse from Centereach who held a sign that read “We Support Our Police” said recent media coverage of police has not shown the “true picture” of what police deal with every day.

“They’re all going into hostile environments,” Hatzidakis said. “They need our support now more than ever.”

Suffolk Police Inspector William Murphy, the precinct commanding officer, came out of the station house to thank those who came. “We work hard at building trust and community relations,” Murphy said. “It’s so good to see people showing their appreciation.”

Murphy said the department has reached out to different communities over the past year to try and build relationships. “We’re out there trying to do the right thing for everybody,” he said, “and it’s not an easy job.”


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