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Vigil held to support police officers

Sean Hansen, 5, stands in front of his dad, Chicago Police officer Erik Hansen, at a vigil Sunday meant to honor fallen officers and bolster public support for police. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Brigid Hansen, whose husband is a Chicago Police officer, says she’s wary of letting her three young kids out of the house wearing anything with a police emblem on it because she fears it could make them a target.

“It breaks my heart,” Hansen said. “They idolize him. He’s their hero.”

Hansen and other police wives organized a vigil Sunday outside the Central District police station, 1718 S. State St., that was attended by about 50 people, including Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, to help turn the tide of disfavor and get more people to support police officers.

“My husband loves his job,” she said of her husband, Tim, a 10-year veteran of the department.

“It’s a great job,” said Tim Hansen. “But nowadays it’s kind of hard.”

Johnson agreed.

“It’s a difficult time to be law enforcement,” Johnson told the crowd.

“It’s important that the city of Chicago knows that through all these trials and tribulations that we stick together. We’re a team. And more than a team, we’re a family. And it’s important to show support for one another as we go through these difficult times. One thing that I do know is that we will get through it,” he said.

Johnson also asked for prayers for the speedy recover of a Chicago Police bike patrol officer who was shot in the leg Thursday night.

Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo lamented the level of support officers receive.

“It’s been a long time now that police officers have been subjected to a level of disrespect and a level of notoriety that they don’t deserve,” he said.

“For all too long now we’ve been one of the only voices out there supporting the police. Where’s our business people that we protect. Where are the communities that can’t come out of the house unless we’re physically present on their block. We need that silent majority to come out. And we need that silent majority to speak up,” Angelo said.

“Things are upside down . . . and we’ve got to turn them right side up again,” he said.

Participants held “Blue Lives Matter” signs. Several people held American flags bearing police colors of blue, black and white rather than traditional red, white and blue.

The ceremony ended with the release of nine blue star-shaped balloons for the five officers killed in Dallas, three in Baton Rouge and one in Kansas City.

Brigid Hansen with husband, Tim, and their children (left to right) Finnegan, Keagan and Ian. The couple’s nephew, Sean, holds the flag. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times
Brigid Hansen with husband, Tim, and their children (left to right) Finnegan, Keagan and Ian. The couple’s nephew, Sean, holds the flag. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times