SOUTH ST. LOUIS ( -- A group of community members from around the bi-state area surprised St. Louis City police officers at the South Patrol station on Saturday morning.

The surprise consisted of thousands of dollars worth of snacks, raffle prizes and gift cards courtesy of the Back the Blue STL community group.

Candice Moore created the group following unrest in cities across the nation, including St. Louis, over the summer.

"I think some of our law enforcement officers were used for a narrative and their lives were put at risk to push an agenda and divide some people," Moore said.

Moore has family members in law enforcement and said she was tired of seeing officers portrayed in a negative light without all facts being presented in some cases.

"We need to step up and be vocal about our support of law enforcement and not be afraid to do so," she said.

Moore, along with a few dozen other people, raised more than $1,500 for Saturday's donation drive. It marked the group's fifth donation drive this year and Moore said she picked the South Patrol for several reasons.

"What they've gone through with Officer Tamarris Bohannon...his life mattered," she said. "It hits close to home, it can happen at any moment and it's just not fair."

Bohannon was killed in the line of duty in August when responding to a call in a neighborhood near Tower Grove Park.

SLMPD Captain Donnell Moore said anytime a community group makes a donation, or voices their support, it boosts morale amongst the officers.

"It lets them know that you haven't been forgotten and that hey, it might just be a drop in the bucket, but that drop means a lot to these officers," he said.

If you are interested in joining the efforts of Back the Blue STL, visit its Facebook page. The group plans to do several more donation drops in 2021.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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