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story.lead_photo.caption State Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, left, stands alongside Beverly and David Thomas, parents of Molly Thomas-Bowden, a Columbia police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2005, during a ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, at the Missouri State Capitol unveiling Missouri's new "Back the Blue" license plate. Walsh sponsored the legislation authorizing the new specialty license plate. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

A new way for Missouri residents to show their support for law enforcement officers is now available.

State Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, unveiled the Back the Blue license plate at a ceremony Tuesday at the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial on the north side of the Missouri State Capitol grounds. Walsh sponsored the legislation for the plates during the 2019 legislative session.

"In addition to showing support, a $10 donation will be collected from each license plate applicant for the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation," Walsh said. "This will help ensure that the memorial continues to stand in memory of Missouri's fallen law enforcement officers."

The memorial was dedicated in 1994. Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandra Karsten, who formerly served as head of the Missouri Highway Patrol, said the memorial serves as a constant reminder of the "selfless sacrifices of our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price for protecting our communities."

More than 700 names are currently on the memorial, and two additional panels were recently added to accommodate the growing list, Karsten noted.

"The Back the Blue license plate will help ensure that this sacred tribute to the fallen is maintained with the care and attention to detail that our fallen heroes deserve," Karsten said.

More information about the Back the Blue license plates is available at dor.mo.gov/motorv/plates/specialty.php.

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