Longview honors officers with ‘Back the Blue’ rally

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LONGVIEW, Wash. (KOIN) — People in Cowlitz County are pausing to say “thank you” to the brave men and women who protect them every day. 

Community members organized a “Back the Blue” rally in Longview offering their prayers and support for law enforcement after a Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty.

It’s been almost one week since Deputy Justin DeRosier was shot responding to a call. 

Over the past several days, businesses, families and neighbors have come together to make sure their local law enforcement know people are behind them through this tragedy.

“For you to come out and support us like you’re doing today is just absolutely amazing,” Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha said. 

What started as a community initiative to wear black and blue as a sign of support turned into a chance to stand together in prayer and silence. 

“Justin was a good friend, my officers are hurting and we hurt with them, pray for us,” Chaplain Mario Gambaro said. 

The gathering follows days of fundraisers for DeRosier’s family. Local restaurants and coffee shops have raised thousands of dollars and print shops have been handing out stickers and others collecting donations. 

Memorials grow as plans for a formal goodbye take shape. A service for DeRosier will be held at the Chiles Center in Portland on April 24.

Sheriff Thurman encouraged people to attend the walk at Martin’s Dock on Lake Sacajawea on Saturday at 1 p.m. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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