With so many local police officers wearing them, it would be easy to mistake the small black wristbands as a new required part of the police uniform.
But the truth of the matter is that they’re being worn by choice.
"It’s what we as police officers do to support each other," Village of Mamaroneck Police Officer and PBA president Charlie Deshensky said.
The bands can be traced to White Plains, where Police Officer Bobby Denet said he felt compelled to do something to honor his fallen colleague, White Plains police Detective Michael Perry. Perry, 43, died of a heart attack last month after apprehending a theft suspect. He left behind a wife and 6-year-old twin boys.
Denet said he purchased 5,000 wristbands using his own money and has distributed them to about 15 nearby agencies in groups of 100. The bracelets cost $5 each, and the money will go into a fund to financially support the Perry twins.
"I don’t think any officer who passes in the line of duty should ever be forgotten," Denet said. "He gave himself for his job."
The bracelets are inscribed with "PO. M. Perry #115 WPPD 03/04/67-06/12/10," representing his badge number and his date of birth and date of death. Perry was was posthumously awarded a gold detective’s shield. The inside of the band features the line "What’s going on!!" representing what Denet called the "Perry Bump," a greeting he used on his fellow officers.
"It’s almost like Perry is speaking through the bracelet," he said.
Denet said it’s also his hope that the bracelets improve the morale in the White Plains department, which lost 12 officers to layoffs in May. Denet said Perry personally called and visited nearby agencies trying to land jobs for the officers who were let go.
"Everyone’s wearing them," Denet said. "Life is short. Live it to the fullest."
To purchase a wristband, email Denet at email@example.com.
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