COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Community members came out to show their support for Blue Friday. Blue Friday New York is a non-profit that recognizes the sacrifices made by the men and women in blue.
“It has been declared as Blue Friday by the New York State Legislature for the last 18 years. It started after the death of Lt. Jonh Finn of Albany and PO Eric Verteramo of Schenectady as a day set aside to help honor those officers,” said Patrick Fox, President of Blue Friday for New York.
WGNA-FM held its annual Blue Friday fundraiser at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. Several Capital Region law enforcement agencies were flashing their patrol cars. Blue Friday is all about supporting those who wear the badge and the families who stand behind them.
“I’ve been retired for 20 years, but it’s still in my blood to back the police officers,” Joseph Dopp, retired Amsterdam City Police Officer.
While raising funds, members of Blue Friday for New York sold T-shirts, sweatshirts, challenge coins, and beautiful blue carnations. People stopped by on their way to work to donate, pick up a shirt and show love. “My son and law was a former sergeant with the Albany Police Department so I still support,” said Colonie resident Joanne Frangella.
Being an officer is not an easy job, and their work doesn’t go unnoticed. “As a profession, we have been through a lot in the last couple of years. Very challenging times—from the pandemic to the death of George Floyd—and we have got through this by relying on each other,” said Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford. “We’re all doing the same job and many times during tough days we call each other and we talk about it, that’s how we build up resilience and come back the next day and do the job all over again.”
Friday’s funds will benefit three law enforcement families, officers who recently lost their lives to covid, to take a trip to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.