Mayors, community show support for law enforcement, firefighters

Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers
Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers shows cards received from the community.

From a parade award to cards from grateful residents, Farmington Public Safety and Farmington Hills Police Departments have received an outpouring of support in the wake of law enforcement shootings over the past few weeks.

Five officers lost their lives in a July 7 Dallas, Texas shooting, and on Sunday, a gunman killed three officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“It’s certainly been a trying time not only for law enforcement, but for communities dealing with the tragedies that have occurred,” Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers said during Monday’s city council meeting. “But what we have found is just the incredible amount of support that we enjoy and have earned…in this community.”

Demers shared several touching stories, including that of a Southfield woman who said she had no money to donate or buy baked goods, but left officers her ring, which bore a peace symbol.

“I was able to reach this woman right when she was about to leave, and I explained to her that just her coming to the station to express her support was all we needed and more,” Demers said, adding that he returned the ring. “We shared a hug. It was really just an emotional experience for both of us.”

Farmington Mayor Bill Galvin said that he and Farmington Hills Mayor Ken Massey selected local emergency services entries for the nonprofit Mayors’ Award in Saturday’s Greater Farmington Founders Festival Grand Parade. Galvin called for a “blue out” at Monday’s meeting; he and other officials and audience members wore blue to show support for local officers.

Founders Festival parade
Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus, left, and Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers walked together in Saturday’s Founders Festival parade.

The Farmington Hills Police Department has also received an “outpouring of support”, in the form of letters, emails, visits, flowers, and baked goods. In addition to the Dallas and Baton Rouge deaths, Hills officers dealt with a tragic suicide July 8 in Heritage Park. In a statement released last week, the department thanked the community:

“The encouragement and the praise are very much appreciated as the Police Department remains dedicated to its mission statement, which includes a commitment to…’the delivery of superior public safety services without prejudice or partiality’.”

Farmington council member Sara Bowman said Monday that she hopes the strong show of support will continue.

“We really, as a community, need to hold onto the belief and truth that there’s more good than evil,” she said. “The vast, vast majority appreciate your services. Just hold on to the good.”