• 63°

Bouk demonstrates in support of police

'Sick and tired'

John Bouk, whose son is a police officer, believes more people need to show support for law enforcement, and he's leading by example. Photo by Susan Shinn, for the Salisbury Post

John Bouk, whose son is a police officer, believes more people need to show support for law enforcement, and he’s leading by example. Photo by Susan Shinn, for the Salisbury Post

By Susan Shinn

For The Salisbury Post

One man. One poster. Ninety-five lives.

If you know John Bouk, you know he is passionate about a lot of things. One thing he’s especially passionate about these days is his support for law enforcement. Son Adam is employed by the Salisbury Police Department, and Bouk has been deeply affected by the fact that nationwide this year, some 95 officers have died in the line of duty.

“I’m just sick and tired of all this stuff on TV,” John says.

He decided to do something about it.

On his lunch break each day from the J.F. Hurley Family Y, where he is property manager, John takes a simple, hand-lettered poster and stands at the square.

In large, black letters, he’s written “A Cop’s Life Matters!” He holds it up while the noon-day traffic whizzes by.

So far, he says, the response has been positive. So far, he’s a one-man show. But that’s fine by him. For years, John has been president of Godstock, a local grassroots organization that assists families of critically ill children.

He says his wife, Louise, would be with him, were she not experiencing recent back woes.

So he stands, alone, at the square, or down in front of the courthouse. The law enforcement officers who work there came to the front door last week, smiling and waving and giving him thumbs-up.

He says drivers toot their horns and throw up their hands to wave at him. He says he wouldn’t mind some company.

Someone asked if it were OK to take his picture and post it on Facebook. He said that’d be fine.

“I don’t own a computer,” he says, “but apparently, that Facebook is a big deal.”

John says he can’t understand the people who’ve seemingly been in favor of the recent killings of police officers. He was especially troubled about the sheriff’s deputy in Texas who was gunned down while pumping gas.

“God help somebody who did that to my son,” he says. “I don’t understand any of it. It’s beyond me. I’m just tired of people sitting back and doing nothing.”

John acknowledges that yes, there are bad cops. But there are bad people in all professions.

“The majority of cops are good people,” he says.

The rash of recent shootings in Salisbury is also understandably troubling to him.

“I’ve always been concerned about my son,” he says, “but now even more so.”

John says there seems to be more concern about how “thugs” are treated.

“And I want you to use that word,” he says. “By God, people don’t care about how cops are being treated.”

Because his son is a police officer, he’s gotten to know other officers in the department.

“My son has a cookout every Fourth of July,” John says, “and I get to meet the officers and their families.”

He hears their stories, and he worries.

That’s why you’ll see him standing at the square, or in front of the courthouse with his simple, hand-lettered poster.

One man. One sign. Ninety-five lives.

 

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

 

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending