INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Five new billboards across the city are designed to inspire unity between police and the community.
Nonprofit Your Life Matters Indy raised thousands of dollars for the billboards.
Two of the billboards read “Back the Blue” and “We’re in this together.” The secretary of Your Life Matters Indy told News 8 the billboards are in place to “calm the storm” after racial unrest seen in Indianapolis. “For our police officers out there as well, we want them to know that we care about you. This is a difficult job that is being made more difficult by segments of our populations as well as politicians,” Ted Ritchie said.
Ritchie believes politicians are setting up a situation for anarchy in the city. He discussed recent calls from many people wanting policy reform at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and how officers need all the support they can get.
He mentioned the billboards are also for some drivers and pedestrians who need encouragement.
“People are not really happy with the status quo and the direction we feel that we’re going so we want their voice to be heard. We want these people to know they’re not alone,” the group’s secretary said.
Written on the other three billboards of the Back the Blue campaign is a famous quote:
“Judge me by the content of my character and not the color of my skin.”Martin Luther King Jr.
All five billboards have been up since last week and will remain up until October.
“They are a part of our community. It isn’t a Black department or a white department. They’re police officers,” Ritchie said. “When things do happen that are not appropriate, oftentimes, understanding what policing is about is difficult.”
Your Life Matters Indy’s mission is to bridge the divisions that seem to be growing between people, organizations and communities. In this case, law enforcement and minorities.
Ritchie added, “Instead of trying to drive people further apart I think we do have the opportunity to discuss our differences. We often find that we have more in common than we thought so we are trying to bridge that divide.”
The nonprofit continues to seek donations to continue this campaign to support law enforcement on billboards.