Area residents show local officers they are blue through and through

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

NATCHEZ — After the killing of three Baton Rouge Police officers Sunday, Miss-Lou residents are making sure local law enforcement officers know they are appreciated.

Along the streets of the Westover Subdivision in Natchez, mailboxes are decorated with blue ribbons as visible signs of support.

Neighborhood Watch co-chairs Millicent Mayo and Karen Callaway said they had been planning to do something in the wake of the killings of five officers in Dallas.

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They hadn’t decided what to do until the news of the deaths of three more officers — this time in Baton Rouge — spread through the community Sunday. They knew then they could wait no longer.

“I said, ‘We have got to do this,’” Mayo said. “After Dallas, we said we were going to do something, but this time we needed to do it in hurry.”

The two women decided to show their support by tying blue ribbons on not just their mailboxes, but as many mailboxes as they could in their neighborhood.

“We wanted to make sure they know that we support them — all of them,” Mayo said.

Less than 24 hours after the shootings, Mayo and Callaway, with the help of their street captains, have tied 120 ribbons on mailboxes in their neighborhood.

“After we did a few, we had people stopping us in the streets wondering where they could get one for their mailbox,” Mayo said. “I have met people I didn’t even know lived in our neighborhood.”

Mayo said they still have more ribbons to make.

“We don’t want anyone in our neighborhood to do without.”

In Vidalia, Summer Scirocco is organizing a candlelight vigil at the Vidalia Riverfront gazebo in front of Riverpark Medical Center. The event will be from 7:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. today, and is to help bring unity to the community, Scirocco said.

“Because of everything that is happening in our country, with things hitting so close to home in Baton Rouge, we need to show that we will not be divided,” Scirocco said.

All members of the community are welcome.

Scirocco said she and her friends have acquired 240 candles for those who come to the vigil. People are welcome to bring their own candles, Scirocco said.

“We just want to bring peace and solidarity to the community, Scirroco said.

Vidalia United Methodist minister, the Rev. Darryl Tate is also helping to organize a Wednesday community prayer service.

“We are asking all ministers, community leaders and citizens to come together to pray for those who put their lives on the line to protect us in our parish and community,” Tate said in an email.

The prayer service for all law enforcers in Concordia Parish will be at 10 a.m. at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.