RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was a sea of blue Saturday afternoon, just steps from where Trooper Chad Dermyer was gunned down about a week ago.
Dozens of Richmond residents turned out for the Blue Lives Matter Rally as a way to thank police officers and state troopers who serve our communities.
Members of law enforcement say the rally also gave them a chance to thank the community for the outpouring of support they've received since Dermyer's death.
Virginia State Police Capt. Steven Chumley spoke at the rally about meeting Demyers wife at the hospital and then returning to the Greyhound station to work the scene. "It's heartbreaking. It's emotional," he said.
Chumley says in the 10 years he's been a division commander with VSP, eight troopers have been killed in the line of duty in Central Virginia. "Those scenes really just haunt me, and I think will haunt me for the rest of my life."
During the rally, those in attendance wanted Chumley and his fellow men and women in law enforcement to know they are there for them and appreciate the work they do. "Their heroism doesn't go unnoticed," said Kirby Struhar, whose father is in law enforcement.
Struhar's says he was inspired by the turnout at the Blue Lives Matter Rally. "It's just great to see so many people wanting to come out show support for the men and women that sacrifice so much to keep not only the city of Richmond but communities all across the country safe," Struhar said.
Others in attendance, like Kelly Wince, say they want officers to know they have their back. "They lay their lives on the line every time they walk out that door. Every time they strap their vest on, they put their gun on, they lay their lives on the line," said Wince. "Why wouldn't you thank them?"
That support is exactly what Capt. Chumley says keep him motivated. "To know that the community that you have been sworn to protect and serve when they appreciate you in that way, in just makes all the difference in the world," Chumley said. "That's the gas that keeps us going."
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