MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) received its first shipment of "We Back The Badge" signs on Tuesday, July 26th.
In attendance at that news conference were MPA President Mike Crivello, Rep. Samantha Kerkman of Kenosha and Milwaukee Police Officer Brandon Baranowski -- who was shot and injured on Sunday, July 17th while on the scene of a domestic violence related call near 17th and Morgan in Milwaukee.
The "We Back The Badge" sign was created to raise awareness and show support for law enforcement.
"It says 'We Back The Badge.' The reason these signs exist is because of something that I've been talking about for a long time -- and that is civic leadership," Crivello said.
"Driving by I saw the signs, and I thought 'I really want to put one of these in my front yard. I want to support the Milwaukee police officers for all they do. They`re backing us up every single day. They`re supporting us,'" Wendy Mueller said.
Rep. Kerkman is the driving force behind the signs.
"'We Back The Badge' came about last year in Kenosha County because of an officer-involved shooting. A group of four of us wanted to do something; show our support for all law enforcement. As a legislator, as you see what they do every day, we really want to show support, and so `We Back The Badge` was created. We came up with the logo and the phrase and held a rally and supported law enforcement; about 300 people showed up. With recent events, the sign and the message has taken on a whole new meaning for me and the people that designed the sign."
Kerkman took the opportunity to make a special presentation to Officer Baranowski, who was released from Froedtert Hospital on July 20th.
"After this incident, being injured, you know, I can`t thank everybody out in the community and just everywhere for the love and support, the continued support that hasn`t stopped, and that means a lot. It helps me and my family get through everything that we`re going through," Baranowski said.
The signs, along with window clings and vinyl bumper stickers are available for purchase online at WeBackTheBadge.com. According to the website, the logo was designed with a badge representing police officers and sheriff's deputies.
Demand for the signs has been extremely strong.