Dozens of Santa Clarita Valley residents gathered in Valencia on Monday for a rally to show support for law enforcement.
Supporters stood at the intersection of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway, many with American flags and signs and banners that read, “Stand up for our law enforcement officers.”
“I’m just trying to show my appreciation for the guys that keep me and this culture safe,” Valencia resident John Dybas said. “I believe in this country, and I believe without this thin blue line, we would not have it. There’s things that have to be corrected, absolutely, but this anarchy that’s taking place is beyond belief.”
Dybas is an Air Force veteran who served as a military police officer during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War.
“It’s a hard job,” he added. “I just don’t think (protesters) appreciate what really goes into it. If they saw what these poor guys and gals had to put up with every night, they might have a little bit different of an opinion.”
Among the supporters was Councilman Bob Kellar, a retired Los Angeles Police Department officer, who said it was only right for him to be in attendance.
“I know that we’ve got a lot of retired LAPD here … and I wanted to come over and also be part of (the rally) because this discussion that’s taking place having to do with defunding (the police) and all of those unbelievable things that are happening is just so wrong and stupid, so I’m here to support,” Kellar said.
For rally organizers Art and Ed, who both declined to give their last names, the whole thing started when they saw a sign that read “Defund the police” outside of Santa Clarita City Hall.
“That’s what got Ed and I going, and we decided we were going to do something,” Art said.
Ed decided to show some of his appreciation to law enforcement in a positive way, and purchased some signs, many of which were on display at the rally while others were put out on display in the community.
“I’ve got a lot of friends, like Art, that are former law enforcement … and I know their war stories and what they go through every day, and it’s a shame that we’re not showing some sort of appreciation to these folks and what they do,” Ed added.
For Art, who was with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 32 years, the demonstration really hits home.
“What I know to be true is the facts, and the facts are that cops aren’t running around the country doing what happened in Minneapolis, and what happened in Minneapolis was tragic,” Art said. “I know 100% that’s not the vast majority of men and women. There are bad cops, let’s not make a mistake about that, but the numbers are so minute — 99.9% of law enforcement officers want to live a life, just like us, go to work, come home safe.”
That’s why both men decide to create a movement in support of law enforcement, which they said they hope will spread across the country.
“We’re not trying to cause any trouble, we just want to be positive,” Ed said.