They began showing up at about 4:45 on Sunday afternoon.

Primarily middle-aged and senior citizens carrying signs like ‘Back our Blue’ and proudly sporting American flags gathered at the iconic Doughboy Statue in front of the Missoula County Courthouse.

It was said to be a word-of-mouth demonstration that attracted primarily conservatives who were concerned that the Missoula City Council had voted to deny extra funding for police training.

Missoula businessman and County Commissioner candidate Alan Ault explained why he attended the rally.

“I'm running for Missoula County Commissioner, and I'm here with all these other people to show our support for our police, police and the sheriff's department,” said Ault. “I want to show my support and say thank you for all these brave men and women do for us. You know, nine of the city council members said no to a $77,000 budget increase that the police department asked for, and I think to me, it should be an automatic yes, we need to support these people. That's another reason why I'm here today.”

You know, nine of the city council members said no to a $77,000 budget increase that the police department asked for, and I think to me, it should be an automatic yes, we need to support these people. That's another reason why I'm here today.

A Missoula man who identified himself simply as Casey was holding up one side of an American flag, and explained why he attended the rally.

“Because my son wants to be a cop and he has his whole life and he's going to be here soon, probably,” said Casey. “I think it's important to support the police. Because otherwise we'll just have anarchy.”

The woman holding up the other side of the flag, identified as Ann, explained her purpose for attending the rally.

“Because I want to encourage the police,” said Ann. “I just think it's so discouraging with everything that's going on with people putting them down when they're putting their lives on the line. I would tell the City Council to give them training, and definitely don't cut their funding for sure. I mean, they're here for us.”

Susan Campbell Reneau, also running for office on the Republican ticket in November in Senate District 45, had a Back the Blue flag draped over her shoulders as she stood by the Doughboy Statue.

“I'm actually wearing this flag to honor the police and our law enforcement,” said Campbell Reneau. “We're out here to just show support, and we had no idea who was going to come. This is just grassroots. I happen to be running for Senate for District 45, but that's not why I'm here. I'm just here because I'm supporting my police. I really hope that our mayor will not cut any funding from our police or anything to do with law enforcement. I am grateful that we have three city councilors that are supportive of the police. I'm so grateful and I hope that these people will make their voices heard to the city council.”

There were no police officers or sheriff’s deputies at the rally.

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