INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Police from around the metro are supporting Independence police officer Blaize Madrid-Evans' family and colleagues.
"We’re not going to turn our back on anybody, and I don't care what city you're from," said Sgt. Brad Lemon, president of Kansas City, Missouri, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 99.
Word of the shooting that wounded, and ultimately killed, Madrid-Evans traveled quickly. So members of police unions from Kansas City, Missouri, and surrounding communities came almost immediately to Independence to support their brothers and sisters in blue.
"You know you’re family when you come on these jobs, and we work together and sit by, so they're putting each other's lives in other people's hands," Lemon said.
The city's mayor Eileen Weir released a statement acknowledging the dangers officers face.
"We are ever hopeful that their daily interactions with the public will be peaceful so that they might return home to their families safely at the end of their shift. Today, that was not the case," Weir wrote.
Lemon says officers are no strangers to tragedy.
"We've all dealt with tragedy of some way or another. We all know the pain of this, and we carry it through," Lemon said.
Coping with that pain can manifest in a variety of ways which is why right now there are several peer support specialists assisting the department.
"We’re not going to forget this, we're not going to leave them, we're not going to walk away from this, so we need to be here with them every step of the way, no matter what they need," Lemon said.
He added there are representatives from at least 10 different law enforcement agencies from Kansas and Missouri in Independence helping out the department.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.