Up and down Elk Grove Boulevard in Old Town Elk Grove, there’s hardly a single tree or pole without a blue ribbon tied around it, rustling in the wind.
Some have sparkles, shimmering faintly under the sun. Others are simply made of a blue satin cloth. But the forest of ribbons show the love and strength of a community that has come together to support law enforcement after Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan was killed in the line of duty June 19.
Renee Arruda and her daughter Gianna were tying more ribbons on Elk Grove Boulevard on Wednesday morning, a day before O’Sullivan’s funeral procession will travel through town.
The morning procession will travel from the Herberger Family Funeral Home to the Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville for the memorial service, and the afternoon procession will take her casket from the Roseville church back to Elk Grove for a private funeral.
“This is the least we could do for them,” Renee Arruda said. As a special needs mom, Renee said that she just wants to support the Elk Grove Police Department for all they have done for the community.
“I think it’s a horrible thing what happened and I just really want to support her,” Gianna Arruda said.
A few miles away, the Dutch Bros. on Sheldon Road was bustling with people. A long line of cars and people waited to buy their drinks, where $1 of each drink would be donated to O’Sullivan’s memorial fund.
Gayle Young of Elk Grove said she came even though she didn’t drink Dutch Bros. anymore and loves the different forms of support the community has shown.
“I think it’s incredible, it’s a blessing,” Young said. “It’s how we’re supposed to be, it’s how humans should react to things. They should be supportive and be there for their fellow beings ... especially officers for all they do for us to keep us safe.”
During the funeral procession Thursday, members of the American Legion and volunteers will be holding “thin blue line” flags under the American flags along Elk Grove Boulevard.
Some Elk Grove residents left Facebook comments saying that they were unhappy with the city’s decision to fly the U.S. flag and not the “thin blue line” flag, which has generally represented solidarity with law enforcement but has also been pictured nationwide alongside Confederate flags and other white supremacist emblems.
Larry Sahota, a commander in the American Legion, said that the U.S. flag code does not allow other flags to be be flown by themselves and had to be under the American flag if flown together.
Sahota decided to organize a group of people to try to fly “thin blue line” flags beneath all 50 of the American flags that he counted between Highway 99 and Herberger funeral home.
“It’s all about (O’Sullivan),” Sahota said. “It’s about her and respecting her.”