In many cities across the country, the term “defunding the Police” has become a hot topic of discussion. But that was far from the feeling that the Police officers, and the Simi Valley Police Department got, as a grass-roots “Our Cops Are Tops!” parade occurred in Simi Valley, on August 22nd. Over 500 cars, many dressed up or decorated with signs, balloons and flags, drove from the parking lot of City Hall (and the library, the Senior Center even down Avenida Simi), over to the front parking lot of the Simi Valley Police Station on Cochran St., where five Simi Valley Police officers were standing in front of their respective police vehicles, greeting and waving at the passersby, honking and waving and receiving gifts of cards, posters, and restaurant gift cards from those coming by. All to show thanks for the Simi Valley Police Department and the officers and staff for all they do to keep our city a safe place to live.
Prior to the parade, local country music star, Lacie Mae, sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, which was broadcast over a local FM radio band, so that all in attendance could hear and still practice social distancing. World famous television star, Bob Eubanks was the emcee of the pre-parade festivities. He was at the event and shared personal stories and inspired the more than 1,500 in attendance. There were welcome greetings from the Mayor of Simi Valley, Keith Mashburn, as well as other elected officials, including current City Councilpersons Elaine Litster, and Dee Dee Cavanaugh.
The parade was the idea of local citizens Steve Frank and John Tolson. Initially, they wanted to do the parade a week before, but the Police Chief asked them to postpone for one week, so that another very small group of political walkers could go from the local hospital to the City Hall grounds. They had approximately 25-30 walkers. A special thanks goes out to Scott Juceam, from Definite Media, and U Cast Studios & News for their tremendous technical assistance. Radio broadcasting and aerial camera shots, as well as hosting Mr. Eubanks and the other honorable guests, as well as playing patriotic music while everyone waited in parade formation. There were Veterans, families, young and old. There were multiple car clubs in attendance. The Police Officers in attendance were visibly moved by the showing of appreciation.
This was a tremendous showing from the people of Simi Valley, who truly feel that “Our Cops Are Tops!”
John Tolson is the Director of Marketing and Membership for the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, where he has been for 10 years. He also has an independent insurance business, where he is a Broker for many home and auto carriers. He has owned both a retail and wholesale business for over 18 years. Currently, he is also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Simi Valley. He can be reached at [email protected]