Despite the intense heat, citizens from across the Conejo Valley gathered outside the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station in Calabasas Tuesday afternoon to show their support for local law enforcement. The event was organized by Rabbi Moshe Bryski, executive director of the Chabad of the Conejo, who was touched by a Facebook post he read by one of the officers slain in the recent shooting incident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Officer Montrell Jackson wrote just before his death:
“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me.”
“That was his final message,” said Bryski.” I felt a knot in my stomach that we needed to do something to say to our local law enforcement that we love and appreciate them and admire their courage and sacrifice for us.”
Billed as non denominational “celebration of honor, integrity, sacrifice and commitment,” the event was an opportunity for people of all races, colors and religions to express their common respect and solidarity for the vital role that the police play in maintaining the quality of life in the Conejo Valley, according to Bryski.
“We are so grateful to have a community like this to come out,” said Lt. Joshua Thai, acting captain of the Lost Hills precinct. “And it’s not just because of the [recent] tragic events. This community has shown overwhelming support for many, many years.”
Added Cmdr. John Benedict, acting chief of the North Patrol Division, “It’s an opportunity to unite together for a common purpose, for building good will and finding solutions to some of the problems we have.”
As part of the ceremonies, local state and city dignitaries addressed those gathered to offer their support and gratitude. “What makes our community so safe and wonderful is what the sheriff’s officers do for us,” said Calabasas Councilmember Alicia Weintraub. “Our quality of life is a direct result, and we want to be here to show our appreciation.”
Organizers said they hope the day’s message spreads awareness to other cities and towns, which apparently it already has. Shortly after announcing the event, Bryski said he’s been contacted by 40 cities that are planning to hold similar functions.