Back the Blue fundraiser to donate money to East Ridge officers

While funding hasn't been said to be a contributing factor, East Ridge residents, like Jody Grant, wanted to come together and make money less of a problem for the department. (image Jody Grant)

Colds drinks and hot food brought the East Ridge community together Saturday. So did the fear that their police department is ill-equipped to keep them safe.

After a national representative of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers created a local chapter in East Ridge, allegations came in suggesting officers weren't getting basic supplies they needed to safely do their job; supplies like up-to-date bulletproof vests, ammunition, and latex gloves for crime analysis.

While funding hasn't been said to be a contributing factor, East Ridge residents, like Jody Grant, wanted to come together and make money less of a problem for the department.

"This all got thrown together six weeks ago," "It all came together and we probably had about 400 people turn out."

Grant called the event the "Back the Blue BBQ."

"Our East Ridge Police Officers need help and we pulled together and here we are."

This passed week the topic came up briefly at the East Ridge City council meeting. County Commissioner Tim Boyd announced the county would reallocate $7,500 toward the police department.

While it's unclear if the allegations are true, Grant says if nothing else, it's always great to remind the men and women in blue, their community is behind them.

"Us citizens came together to support and, most importantly, to say thank you to all police officers who have the courage to do what we can't."

Organizers say their goal was to raise at least $1,500. They didn't want to share exactly how much they raised, but said they far exceeded that goal.

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