Billboards take a stand for police safety

Pentecostals, Re/Max sponsor new signs in support of police
by Jeff Pederson of The Review staff


PENTECOSTALS OF SHEBOYGAN FALLS and Re/Max Universal Realty-Gary Beaudoin Agency in Sheboygan Falls have teamed up to sponsor four billboards in Sheboygan Falls and Sheboygan in support of law enforcement agencies and officials. - Submitted photo PENTECOSTALS OF SHEBOYGAN FALLS and Re/Max Universal Realty-Gary Beaudoin Agency in Sheboygan Falls have teamed up to sponsor four billboards in Sheboygan Falls and Sheboygan in support of law enforcement agencies and officials. - Submitted photo In a time when law enforcement agencies and officers have been put under unprecedented scrutiny, one local church and another local business are expressing their support in a major way.

Led by Pentecostals of Sheboygan County Pastor John Putnam, an initiative to put up billboards backing the efforts of law enforcement personnel have been placed a locations throughout the Sheboygan County area.

According to Putnam, the billboards are meant to deflect the negativity recently directed at law enforcement.

“There has been so much negative publicity in regards to law enforcement, while at the same time a number of officers have been feloniously injured or killed around the country,” Putnam said. “So I felt that the officers in our county needed to know that we at Pentecostals of Sheboygan County value their service and work within our community…that their lives matter.”

Four billboards are currently on display in the area, including one on the north side of city of Sheboygan Falls on State 32 and another just south of Sheboygan Falls on State 23.

Two additional billboards are in place in the city of Sheboygan.

After developing the idea for the billboards, Putnam contacted Gary Beaudoin of Re/Max University Realty about assisting with the project.

“Pastor Putnam called me and said he had a business idea that he wanted to run by me,” Beaudoin said. “When he explained what he wanted to do, I was immediately on board with it.

“There has been a negative overtone presented in the media reports about law enforcement,” he said. “There are many people today that disrespect the position police officers are in each day. Law enforcement officers are on the job 24/7 and it is one of the most difficult jobs that we have.”

Putnam would like to see the billboards have an impact on the way local residents view law enforcement agencies and personnel.

“We want our law enforcement community to know that we value their lives and their work,” Putnam said. “We would also like the general public to think anew and afresh at how important law enforcement is to our fairly peaceful lives..

“If you remove the peace and security that they provide on a day-to-day basis, all we would be left with is chaos,” he said.

According to Putnam, the response to the billboards has been overwhelming.

“We have had a number of officers stop us and thank us for the support,” Putnam said. “We also have had a number of community members mention to members of our congregation that they support the message and are thankful for the billboards.

“I was informed that officers from as far away as Texas were posting the pictures of the billboards on their own local social media,” he said.

Beaudoin is also hopeful that the billboards play a role in raising public awareness.

“Seeing the profession of law enforcement subjected to a such negative connotation is very disheartening,” Beaudoin said. “Putting up these billboards as a sign of support is a great way to go about standing up for our officers.

“I personally have been disappointment by the lack of attention from our presidential administration and government leaders regarding the recent epidemic of law enforcement-involved shootings,” he said. “Sponsoring these billboards is something I can do to help out.”

The billboards, which state “Law enforcement lives matter” while picturing two law enforcement officers, went up in early September and will be up for a total of 30 days.

However, after the billboards go down, Putnam says the work of Pentecostals of Sheboygan County in supporting law enforcement is far from over.

“Our congregation is heavily involved in supporting our law enforcement community, especially the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department,” Putnam said. “Each year we supply a thank you luncheon to their staff during National Police Week and have at times made donations to various projects and/or events that they hold

“Also, our congregation grants me the freedom to operate as the chaplain of the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department,” he said. “The sheriff’s department has two chaplains. Chaplain Rick Cawthon of Good News Jail Ministry works on the ‘corrections’ side and I work on the ‘sworn’ side of the department.

“He primarily works with the inmates and the jail staff and I primarily work with patrol, CID, court services, administration and their support staff. With that, we are able to help support the law enforcement community from within.”


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