We talk at Blue Love Off the Cuffs about bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community. As civilians, we feel it’s our job to meet LEOs halfway so we can all work together. Many LEOs across the country are out in their communities connecting with those they protect and serve every day.

Sheriff Officer Danny Rivera of New Jersey, is a shining example of what it means to work for and with his community. He has been on the job 14 years,  becoming a police officer was a way for him to provide stability for his family. However, it also put him in a great position to help others. “If you have a passion for helping others, FOLLOW YOUR HEART,” he says, and he does just that!

Rivera heads a project called “BRIDGES” where he uses hip hop music to connect with local youth. He also mentors elementary-aged students. His goal? To bridge the divide through transparency and determination. Rivera is truly a role model who walks the walk (and raps the rap!)

“Community policing begins in the heart, not the pocket,” he shares, and his message is to be authentic and show all people respect, regardless of race, religion, look, clothing etc.

When we asked about how he feels about anti-police rhetoric in this country, Rivera left us with these wise words: “I believe it costs more energy to hate someone or a group. I’ve been through many trials in my life and feel I am well-equipped to sustain any blows that come from hate and ignorance.”

Thank you, Sheriff Officer Rivera. You lead with your heart and we’ll gladly follow!

I am a native Rhode Islander who is a wife, mother, sister, daughter and proud supporter of Blue Lives. My brother has been a police officer for the past 20+years and while he loves his job, the reality of it is, today's world is scary, times have changed and there is a continuous lack of respect for law enforcement. I am passionate about raising awareness on suicide prevention and mental health stigmas for police officers and first responder all over the country. I believe the more people talk about mental health, the less taboo it will be, espeically for the protectors.

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