Why I joined MM4PD

Recently I was asked why I decided to be involved with the Mustache March 4PD organization. I gave a brief answer to keep the conversation moving, but that question and my short answer has been in my thoughts all day. My answer wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t the full story. So I thought I would share my reasons.

October 6th 2016, in the early morning, an officer in St. Louis County was killed responding to a call. That officer was Blake Snyder, he was also my best friend. The following days we witnessed the support that the law enforcement family gave to Blake’s family on both sides of the river and nationally. It was definitely something that I will remember. What I was more impressed with was the community’s response. During Blake’s funeral procession, people lined the streets from Chesterfield,MO to Godfrey, IL. They didn’t just line the streets but also the Interstate. Yeah, the interstate, where people normally drive faster than they should, was at a standstill to honor him.

That wasn’t normal because a couple years before this we started to see more dislike for the police than support. The people who supported the police became the silent majority. It wasn’t until there was a tragedy that you saw the support at a level that you noticed. That’s when a group of eight wonderful people had the idea to have a concert to try and raise some money to support local police departments. Mustache March 4PD was established. The inaugural event was a success.

I watched as this group grew and continued to support local police departments. It took me a couple years for me to get involved, but I wish I would’ve helped sooner. Getting to see first hand how much the police departments appreciated the support from the communities they serve was eye opening. These men and women see the worst of the worst daily, things some of us could never imagine and continue to do it day in and day out with little to no gratitude.

Fast forward a couple years and our family needed the police departments more than we could have ever imagined. We went from supporting these officers to relying on them. We needed them to do their jobs in the best way possible. Now, I’m witnessing what the police do for the victims of crime. They worked tirelessly for days and thankfully they were able to “catch” the bad guy and we shouldn’t see him for a very long time. Their support for us through the case, through the waiting, and even after the case closed are more reasons I am thankful for these men and women. I felt like it was time to step up and do more. Time to get involved so I could give back to them, like they have given to my family and the communities they serve.

I became more involved to spread the mission of Mustache March 4PD and give back to our police departments. To show them that their communities care about them and show those communities that these officers care about them too. We’ve held ice cream giveaways, food drives, our annual concert, helped families in need, provided school resource officers with funds so a few students could have Christmas, and sent a group of officers and some of their significant others to Washington DC for National Police Week.

Many of you have never heard of National Police Week. If you ask me, or anyone else that has been, what it is, our descriptions will not do it justice. What I can tell you, is my experience at National Police Week confirmed why Mustache March 4PD and organizations like it are needed. I was able to share the mission of MM4PD with both law enforcement and families of officers who have given their lives serving communities just like ours. Most of the responses were the same, “wish we had something like this” or “that’s amazing we might have to start a group”. I think about one conversation I had at the airport, with a 17 year veteran of the NYPD, everyday. It has become a core memory. We talked for close to twenty minutes, and while sharing our groups purpose he called other officers over from his department to join the conversation. “Come listen to this. Can you imagine what it would be like to have something like this?” This is the statement that shook me…“If we get killed in the line, they are more likely to cheer than cry.” Courageously they put on a uniform everyday and deal with what they deal with, knowing the dangers they face, and they continue to do it while not feeling like they are supported. It is not right. That’s why I am involved with Mustache March 4PD and I encourage you to support your local department.

Wesley Strowmatt
Mustache March4PD