Coast police support group feels the pain of Baton Rouge brothers in blue

Coast police support group feels the pain of Baton Rouge brothers in blue

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The flags have flown half-staff at the Gulfport Police Department since five officers were shot dead in Dallas.

The Coast is feeling the hurt of the families of the slain Baton Rouge police officers on Sunday, as the mourning continues.

"By practice, when the officers are laid to rest, that's when we remove the covers off our badge," said Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania. "Last night, I took mine off only to have to slide it back on this morning. And at the rate we're going, I don't know if I'm going to pull it off."

While prayer helps, Kristin Stachura Allen feels the anguish for those in Baton Rouge.

"Heartbroken," said Stachura, founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Team. "I can't even begin to fathom the pain, the chaos, everything that these officers, their families, their agencies, that they're facing right now. The need is great right now for us to show our love and support for them."

Stachura is also frightened for her family, adding, "I am now more terrified for my husband, my brothers and all law enforcement than I have ever been."

Kayla Lassabe knows the fear as well; her father is an officer.

"Before, it was more of he's going to protect and serve. Here in the past month or so, I have been more concerned about it than ever. It touches close to home," noted Lassabe.

Krysten Curry knows the pain of losing a loved one in the line of duty. Her father, Lt. Robert Curry, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2008.

"Every time events happen like this it almost, like, opens old wounds again and you feel just a deeply as the ones that are going through it right now," Curry said. "It breaks my heart."

Papania says he believes his officers are well prepared to face a similar situation, but adds that the preparation will change as the situation changes.

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