"We don't usually shroud the Juneau Police badge for officers in other states when they get killed, but when the Dallas event occurred, that was the deadliest day in law enforcement since the September 11th attacks."
During the Action Line interview Wednesday, Juneau Police Chief Johnson described his department's reaction to the killing of five police officers in Dallas.
"We don't usually shroud the Juneau Police badge for officers in other states when they get killed," Johnson began. "If we did that, our badge would unfortunately be shrouded almost all the time, so we usually only shroud our badges when Alaska police officers get killed. But when the Dallas event occurred, that was the deadliest day in law enforcement since the September 11th attacks, so we shrouded our badges for that. I thought it was appropriate; we also had the president and governor order all flags to be flown at half mast. There was mourning all over the place. In collaboration and cooperation with our labor union, the Public Safety Employees Association, we sent two of our JPD officers to represent Juneau and our law enforcement profession at the services. We were reeling from that, and I think everyone was."
A badge shroud - also known as a mourning band - is a small strip of elastic used to cover the badge of a police officer or firefighter to signify mourning over the loss of a comrade.
Juneau's police chief also spoke about Wednesday's community event at Marine Park, which was put together in response to this and similar acts of violence taking place around the country.
Johnson gave credit for the idea to JPD Lt. Kris Sell.
"She came in and said, "Hey, this is an idea, we can go down to Marine Park, put up boards for people to write what they're feeling, have name tags where people can put down who and what they are, and just talk to each other." As we started thinking about it, we didn't have a tremendous amount of planning; there's no speeches, no organized event. As it got going, lots of people came out and said they'd like to be part of it. It's really an attempt to say that this anger, hate, and violence cannot continue; it needs to stop."