The Summit to Summit Men’s Ministry of the Gorge is sponsoring a Gorge-Wide Law Enforcement Appreciation Barbecue Picnic for all law enforcement personnel in the Gorge area along with their families, according to a press release forwarded to Columbia Gorge News by Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer.

“You are invited to join other community members of the Columbia River Gorge to demonstration your appreciation and encourage our local law enforcement members who have taken oaths to serve and protect our cities, towns, and counties,” announced the Summit to Summit group. This demonstration of local law enforcement support will take place at the Glenwood Rodeo Grounds at 1 p.m. as a picnic on Sunday, July 26.

The press release stated, “During this time of cultural and societal upheaval, racial inequality, and racial injustice, our local law enforcement members who risk their lives daily have been demeaned, disparaged, and condemned by mainstream and social media.”

Songer, who is on record describing the Black Lives Matter movement as “a documented terror group in association with Antifa,” said he agrees with the statement. Summit to Summit’s press release, which also stated, “While changes do need to be made to root out corruption and ensure justice, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, regardless of race or creed, our local law enforcement are being villainized as a convenient scapegoat for our society’s sins.“ Asked to what degree his own personnel have been treated thus, Songer said, “I think that’s nationwide, with the defunding calls by Black Lives Matter.”

Summit To Summit spokesman Roland Hovland said, “It’s pretty much nation-wide so it tends to make everyone in law enforcement fall into that when they see it on the news every night.” Hovland also could not cite specific local instances of demeaning behavior toward law enforcement. “We want to stand up for our law enforcement, they bring us law and order and we’re for law and order,” Hovland said.

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