After various police officers nationwide have come under scrutiny, communities across the country have come together to support the hardworking officers whom they know work tirelessly to protect residents. One resident of Moorestown in particular, Mimi Warburton, chose to voice her support at the Moorestown Town Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 8, and requested the community join her in accepting the Blue Ribbon Challenge.
“Our police protect us everyday by putting their own lives on the line.” Warburton said. “By putting the blue ribbons out there, we’re opening up the conversation. I know I don’t live in Philadelphia where my son serves, I live in Moorestown and I want my community to be the light that guides the rest
of the world.”
This challenge asks residents and business owners to hang a blue ribbon on trees, lampposts, porch lights or other places outside their homes or businesses to symbolize their support of the brave men and women of law enforcement who keep the community safe. A primary reason why Warburton has requested the community join her in this initiative stems from her son, Brian, having been a police officer in Philadelphia now for many years.
Along with the Moorestown Town Council, Warburton has also gained support from the Moorestown Police Department. Additionally, many residents and businesses across the community have already adopted this challenge, proudly showing off their ribbons in support.
“I made this request because of what I have seen my son go through the last six months. It’s been horrendous what the police officers have experienced,” Warburton said. “Supporting the police is something we have to do and something that we can’t just sit back and allow for everything to go wrong.”
Before her request to council and community, Middle Township had been acknowledged as the first community in New Jersey to take on this initiative. However, after recalling some of the horrible occurrences Brian has gone through in the recent past, including being yelled derogatory comments in addition to much worse, Warburton knew she had to start the change she wished to see throughout the community. She said the business of police officers is night-and-day compared to the business of many other members of the community.
“I pray for my son every day and ask that many others pray for him, too, and that the streets become safer,” Warburton said. “We must be able to end the useless acts of violence.”
Although she understands there are instances out there involving the police force that aren’t right, Warburton believes there must be more respect for law and order. She draws back on her personal experience in learning how to approach wrongful situations from having once heard Coretta Scott King, an American author, activist and civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., speak.
“When I heard her speak, she said we have to stand up for our morals but never violently,” Warburton said. “If you see something you know is wrong, you can’t sit back and not do anything.”
Since her initiative was called into action, a Facebook group called “Support Moorestown Police” has been created for residents to get involved and follow this and other initiatives that will support the town’s police. Residents can request blue ribbons through a sign-up link on the Facebook page. Additional pick-up locations will be announced via the Facebook page over the coming months.
In addition to the ribbons, the group will have a “Thank You” book where residents can thank police officers in their own words and with their own messages. The Facebook page can be visited at www.Facebook.com/SupportMoorestownPolice, or residents can email StandWithMoorestownPolice@gmail.com to request a ribbon or get involved with this project.
“Let’s be the light. If you don’t like something going on, then let’s have a conversation and try to change things,” Warburton said. “It’s not about giving the community fish, but instead about teaching them how to fish.”