Police Supporters Rally Tomorrow in Cleveland

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A former Cleveland police dispatcher said she and a friend organized the rally to boost sinking officer morale, and to send a public message of support for law enforcement.

Mary Jo Graves, who now works for the nearby Brooklyn department, said criticism of police use of force is outsize given the danger of the job.

"The police aren’t out to kill somebody; the police just pray to go home at night. Their goal is to go to work, help people, and go home," she said. "And they don’t know on a day-to-day basis whether or not they’re going home. And I don’t think people understand that."

Graves said she’s gotten a huge positive response on social media and expects a big turnout.

At noon, demonstrators wearing blue in solidarity with police will march from Public Square to the Peace Officers Memorial, at West 3rd Street and Lakeside Avenue.

The area’s two police unions say they appreciate the gesture.

"Nationally, during these difficult times in law enforcement, a simple expression of gratitude, such as having a support rally – it means more than can be imagined," said Brian Betley, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police.

The Cleveland police department says it's taking a neutral stance toward the rally and will handle it like any other, although officers can attend on their own.

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