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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While there was big news on the City Hall steps involving the Kansas City Police Department, there was also support for the department just across the street.

A group rallied around the department Thursday. Hymns and prayers were heard on the steps of Police Headquarters.

“They protect us, and they support us in every way,” 12-year-old Rachel Ratterman said.

“With all the rioting that’s been happening, the violence, the police have been taking a lot of heat unjustly, and so we wanted to come out and support them,” organizer Joshua McDonald said. “Make sure they know that we’re still behind them. That there’s somebody out there that wants to fight with them.”

“We just want to support our police. They’re going through a lot right now, and they’ve done a lot for us so we want to back them and support them,” supporter Christine McDonald said.

KCPD spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina came out to talk with the supporters and said it means a lot to all the city’s officers. 

“We’re going to continue serving and doing our business the way that we do,” Becchina said. “We’re going to continue showing up when people call 911. We’re going to continue investigating crashes. We’re going to keep solving people’s crimes. We’re going to keep doing all of that regardless of city control, state control.”

The group hadn’t heard about Thursday’s announcement about a possible vote for the city to take control of the department instead of the state. They said it was just a coincidence, and they’d have to look into the mayor’s announcement.

“They need the support in such a hard time right now, and they’re doing a great job of protecting us,” 13-year-old Gemma Ratterman said.

Becchina said the department will take all the support it can get.

“It brings out a lot of joy and a lot of happiness to feel that support,” he said.

“It makes me feel as though I need to pray for police and help support them in any way I can,” Gemma said.

Chief Rick Smith came out for a few moments to meet with their supporters Thursday. Becchina said it means a lot to Smith to see the support. 

The group said they plan to be back at Police Headquarters next Thursday with even more people.