Businesses in downtown Racine will show their support for the police by placing blue luminary bags and We Back the Badge signs outside their stores Friday during First Fridays.

And you can too by putting out a Back the Badge sign in your front yard.

Ken Brown, owner of EYEOpenerz. 334 Main St., came up with the idea. He’s working with the Downtown Racine Corporation and several downtown merchants to rally support for law enforcement.

“For myself I just in general support the cops,” he said. “I’ve lived here for 25 years and things downtown have definitely gotten better. Crime has dropped significantly and on a personal note, my grandfather was a Detroit Police officer during the riots.”

The proceeds will go toward the Shop with a Cop program, a program that pairs disadvantaged youth with a police officer that takes them shopping for Christmas presents.

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Randall) started the Back the Badge movement last year shortly after the race riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

“We’re pro-cop,” Brown said. “And cops are certainly under fire a lot lately all over the country.”

Get Involved

The general public can also show their support for local law enforcement by picking up a Back the Badge sign for a $10 donation.  People interested in picking up a sign can get one by going to Brown’s store.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.