Images of crushed police cruisers in Derby have circulated the globe and served as a metaphor for distaste for law enforcement. "People seem to be very happy with what he did, it just doesn't make sense to me" neighboring businessman Jeremy De La Bruere said. He works at the auto shop next to the Sheriff's department. He says he's sick of the positive response the public has shown toward Roger Pion, the 34 year-old Newport man accused of crushing the cruisers. Pion has received donations from across the globe toward his defense fund. "It doesn't make any sense to me, if you do something wrong you get reprimanded for it" De La Bruere said.
Now the town of Newport is speaking up. Starting with a car wash Saturday to support the Sheriff's Department. "I think there's a silent majority out there that support law enforcement and the key operative word is majority" Orleans County Chief Deputy Phillip Brooks said. He says it's the more extreme opponents of police that are the first to speak up. "I really don't put much stock in it, at this point it was back to work and getting our job done that we're contracted to do" Brooks said.
The seven cruisers are estimated to set the department back by up to 300,000 dollars. Saturday's car wash had a steady flow of cars all morning. They asked for five dollars from each driver. "We haven't had anybody bring five everybody's given at least ten or twenty" De La Bruere said. He says it's the least they can do to support those who protect and serve. Hoping this positive energy will change a demolition in Derby from an international anti-police message to a reason to rally behind law enforcement.