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Thanks to one of our Mid-Missouri lawmakers, Missourians now have a way of honoring law enforcement officers.

State Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, sponsored a bill to add the option for Missouri motorists to get a "Back the Blue" specialty license plate. The Missouri Legislature approved the bill, which was then signed by Gov. Mike Parson.

As we recently reported, Walsh unveiled the license plate at a Tuesday ceremony at the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial on the Missouri state Capitol grounds. She stood beside Beverly and David Thomas, parents of Molly Thomas-Bowden, a Columbia police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2005.

On the plate, the state of Missouri is shown in black, and a blue line is across the middle. 'Back the Blue' is printed on the bottom.

"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."

An additional $15 fee for the plate will be added to the normal registration cost. Missourians interested in the new "Back the Blue" plates should visit the Department of Revenue's website:

The new specialty license plate offering is just one of many. Missourians can choose a license plate representing their alma mater, their favorite school or various organizations. Want to show you're pet friendly, pro-life or that you're a supporter of the Missouri Federation of Square & Round Dance Clubs? There's a plate for that.

The existing choices represent many good causes. We commend Walsh, the Legislature and the governor for adding one more.

Law enforcement isn't an easy profession, and those in it aren't getting rich. We've seen many instances of law enforcement risking their own lives — sometimes giving their own lives — while serving us. That's not something we take lightly.

News Tribune

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