SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Hundreds of people plan to bundle up and line Chestnut Expressway in Springfield on Monday to show support for local police officers.
Monday marks National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and Complete Automotive is sponsoring a “Back the Blue” event on behalf of the Springfield Police Foundation.

These types of events help the foundation raise money for things the department cannot get approved in its budget requests.

Vice President Alice Weimer and a few friends started the foundation back in 2015 after going through the Citizen’s Police Academy. In 30 hours over 11 weeks, they got an extensive crash course on all things SPD.

“They have one of the most challenging jobs really on the planet, they’re the ones who are going in when everyone else is running out,” Weimer said.

The foundation got started the year Officer Aaron Pearson was shot in the line of duty.

Coincidentally, some of the participants in Monday’s event will stand near the site where he was responding to a call on that chilly night in January 2015.

“I think it definitely did bring awareness to people and really pulling at their heartstrings to understand really the magnitude of the job that they take on every day,” Weimer said.

Businesses like Complete Automotive call the foundation when they want to hold an event to show support for officers.

The foundation ensures funds raised go toward things like tactical gear, training and snacks for long standoffs.

“We’ve just been really blessed so far with the community outpouring, we have what we’ve needed for the requests that have been made so far,” Weimer said.

The entire community has an invitation to come out Monday — Weimer said community members should bring a sign to show their support.

“We just ask that they be large enough to be visible from the roadway, and just come join us,” Weimer said.

The “Back the Blue” event will get started at 5 p.m. and run until 7 p.m.
Participants will line Chestnut from Complete Automotive, which is east of Glenstone, to police headquarters.