South Elgin event organizers hope to show police 'we have their backs'

  • The Back The Blue, Brew and BBQ will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Panton Mill Park in South Elgin.

    The Back The Blue, Brew and BBQ will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Panton Mill Park in South Elgin.

Updated 10/7/2021 7:05 PM

Organizers of an event in South Elgin say they appreciate the tough position that law enforcement are put in every day and they want officers to know that the community has their backs.

Back the Blue, Brew and BBQ will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Panton Mill Park in South Elgin. The event will include addresses from several local law enforcement leaders at 1:15 p.m. and will be followed by a concert featuring Smokin Gunz. There also will be a classic car show with 60 vehicles, food trucks and a beer tent, activities for kids and visits from police dog units like Elgin's comfort dog Chance.


The event was conceived by Mark Bialek of WRMN radio, who organized it with George Rawlinson of Elgin.

"Police are in a very difficult situation daily and that's something that needs to be honored at least every now and then, and it needs to be remembered every day," Rawlinson said.

Bialek and Rawlinson said the concept of the event grew from the initial plan of a small parade or rally to a full-on festival.

"Law enforcement has had the backs of good people forever, serving and protecting them," Bialek said. "I know there's a great majority of people who feel the same way I do about the police, and I think this event will be a fun time that gives them a chance to show that."

"We want them to know that we have their backs."

Kane County State's Attorney Jamie Mosser will kick off the program and be followed by police chiefs Jerry Krawczyk of South Elgin, Bill Wolf of Schaumburg and Ana Lally of Elgin. Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain and Judge Elizabeth Flood conclude the speaking portion before the concert.

Bialek and Rawlinson said net proceeds from numerous sponsors for the free event will go to Illinois Concerns of Police Survivors, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to assist surviving families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

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Rawlinson said he was motivated to help build up the event following the shooting death of Chicago Police officer Ella French in August.

"I think the death of any officer underscores what the police confront every single day," Rawlinson said. "As a community we have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against law enforcement."

"When you attack the men and women in blue, that's an attack on all of us, it's an attack on the rule of law that binds us together."

More information can be found on the event Facebook page.


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