Station Manager at Birmingham’s 101 WYDE radio station Leland Whaley is running a new initiative called “Props to Cops” designed to show appreciation for Alabama’s men and women in law enforcement.
“Our cops have become targets,” Whaley wrote via a social media message announcing the kickoff of the endeavor. “Their very lives are threatened in the streets and by a political movement masked [as] social justice.”
“Between the officer who stopped ISIS terrorists to the young New York officer who paid the ultimate sacrifice, they are the thin blue line between us and chaos. It’s time to defend our defenders and show appreciation to our police.”
Toward that end, 101 WYDE is giving free on-air “shout-outs” to local businesses that offer free or discounted goods and services to police officers.
“We want the cops to know they are appreciated and we want you to know about the businesses that step up,” Whaley continued in his online missive.
Local businesses who wish to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org and let the station manager know what kind of discount they intend to offer Alabama’s finest. The offers and shout-outs will cover the Birmingham station as well as dozens of affiliates through the Crawford Broadcasting syndicate.
Whaley told Yellowhammer News on Thursday that now is an especially poignant time to offer a peaceful gesture to law enforcement, amid riots in Baltimore and protests against suspected police misconduct in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“I got fired up about this because I was watching the news and realized this war on police is not about justice, it’s about politics,” Whaley said. “It’s wrong for our justice system to be abused like this. Police have to get up every day, put on a badge and risk their lives. There’s such a hostile environment right now and they’re being targeted by political opportunists. It’s time to defend our defenders and show appreciation to our police.”
Alabama Today reached out via email seeking a comment shortly after the initiative was launched, but as of publication has not received a response.