Mundelein residents back local police with banner

  • Gary Gunther, in blue shirt, and Betty Hurmis hold aloft a banner proclaiming Mundelein's support of the local police department during Monday's village board meeting. The project was the brainchild of new Miss Mundelein Haley Peterson, far right.

    Gary Gunther, in blue shirt, and Betty Hurmis hold aloft a banner proclaiming Mundelein's support of the local police department during Monday's village board meeting. The project was the brainchild of new Miss Mundelein Haley Peterson, far right. Courtesy of village of Mundelein

 
 
Updated 8/10/2016 6:13 PM

At a time when police departments across the country face increased public criticism, hundreds of Mundelein residents have backed their local officers.

A group led by Miss Mundelein Haley Peterson gave Public Safety Director Eric Guenther a large banner proclaiming the village's support of his staff during Monday's village board meeting. Peterson had brought the banner to community events this summer, and it's signed by about 500 people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Peterson said she was inspired to undertake the project by Guenther's remarks at the recent unveiling of a statue honoring the town's police officers.

"Now more than ever, first responders, including police departments and fire departments, need moral support from the community," Peterson said during Monday's meeting. "I wanted to make sure the police department knew how much the city of Mundelein supported them."

Peterson was joined at the presentation by Little Miss Mundelein Jillian Shutter, Junior Miss Mundelein Abby Hammer, pageant Director Betty Hurmis and Mundelein Community Days volunteer Gary Gunther, who serves as a liaison with the pageant.

The police department's Guenther was moved by the effort, especially because of the backlash against police that has been building in recent years across the country, prompted in part by several high-profile deaths of suspects during encounters with police.

"With all that is happening across the United States in regards to certain groups' opinion of law enforcement, this gesture reminds me how lucky we truly are to have such a wonderful community and the support of the people we serve," he said. "(It's) quite the opposite of what we see in the media everyday."

The banner is on display in the police station's first-floor lobby.

"I think it is important for people to see this when they come to our station," he said.

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