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Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien says she wants to take a break from the rising tensions across the nation to appreciate the “hardworking men and women of law enforcement in New Hampshire.”
The Derry Republican state representative is helping to host an “Appreciation Rally for N.H. Law Enforcement,” which will take place Saturday June 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., outside the State House in Concord.
Prudhomme-O’Brien is organizing the event with fellow Derry state Rep. David Love, and Republican activists Chris Ager and Philip Abirached.
“This is a nonpartisan, family-friendly event,” said Ager, who represents New Hampshire on the Republican National Committee after ousting Concord businessman Steve Duprey, who had held the job for four terms, in January.
Saturday’s rally includes the singing of the national anthem, speeches from community leaders, and some representatives of law enforcement agencies from around the state, Ager said.
Prudhomme-O’Brien said the rally was partly motivated by recent Black Lives Matter rallies and national backlash against police following the death of George Floyd, but it’s not meant to be a political counterpoint.
“Some police are not feeling appreciated. We just want to make sure that we explicitly say that they are,” Prudhomme-O’Brien said. “It’s been a difficult time for a lot of people in law enforcement right now.”
For Prudhomme-O’Brien, Ager and the other organizers, the event is meant to show the men and women of local law enforcement that their community supports them.
If even a few New Hampshire officers are able to “feel better about themselves” and “the very, very important job that they’re doing in our community,” Prudhomme-O’Brien said, she would consider the rally a success.
Ager said most New Hampshire residents are confident in their law enforcement and a recent poll backs him up.
According to a survey of 1,072 registered voters in New Hampshire, conducted June 13-16 by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center, voters do believe the racial discrimination and systemic racism in police departments around the country are problematic. However, the majority of voters said that they have confidence in the professionalism of their local police departments.
Prudhomme-O’Brien didn’t have an exact number of people expected to attend but invited anyone to show up Saturday who wanted to show support and appreciation for police.
Prudhomme-O’Brien said she is confident in New Hampshire law enforcement because of her first-hand experience.
“I’ve been a victim of crime in the past, and I think my life would be very different if we didn’t have the professionals that we have in law enforcement,” she said. “My life might not exist.”
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