By Juli McDonald

BURLINGTON (CBS) – A passionate show of support in Burlington Wednesday evening; a salute to service and sacrifice. Members of law enforcement, their families and friends rallied together for the men and women who protect our communities.

“It’s kindness and love and commitment that these police officers signed up for, not for hate,” said police officer Leanne Teehan.

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Teehan wears the badge herself, following in the footsteps of her hero father killed in the line of duty. Boston Police Officer Jerry Hurley lost his life in a bomb explosion in 1991.

“When is it going to end? And people understand and learn and educate themselves on what and how the police are trained and what they do?” Teehan added.

Back the Blue rally in Burlington (WBZ-TV)

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A driving force behind the rally: opposition to Massachusetts’ police reform bill. Critics consider the bill a knee jerk reaction to police brutality elsewhere: like the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Reform is a good thing. More training is a good thing. We just want to make sure we look at this from all angles and not rush something through that’s going to negatively impact every community in the state,” said police officer Joe Abasciano.

A Marine veteran and city officer, he – like many – supports systemic change, but wants to be part of the conversation.

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“That calling of service and sacrifice and wanting to give back and help people and those less fortunate than me or put in bad situations is the reason we got into all of this. This is going to make that job almost impossible to do anymore,” Abasciano said.

Juli McDonald