PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a big show of support here in Pittsburgh this weekend for Pennsylvania State Police and the families of the two troopers who were shot in an ambush earlier this year on the other side of the state.
The letters “PSP” stand for Pennsylvania State Police.
And it’s those letters that appear on tee-shirts being sold in Pittsburgh this weekend in support of the families of Cpl. Byron Dickson and Trooper Alex Douglass.
Several state troopers’ spouses are in town for the fundraiser.
In September, Dickson was killed and Douglass was wounded outside the Blooming Grove Barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Unfortunately, we all know it could happen to any of us at any time,” said Lori, the wife of a state trooper. “So, we all just try to support where we can.”
Tabitha Lopresto’s husband works out of the Blooming Grove Barracks. On the night of the attack, she said he left just 30 minutes before the shots rang out.
She remembers when her husband got the call.
“He was leaving to go up there, and I literally fell to my knees and was like, ‘Don’t go,’ crying,” Lopresto said.
Lopresto’s husband was involved in the search for suspect Eric Frein in Pike and Monroe counties.
Most of the women involved in selling the shirts say their husbands took part in the massive manhunt.
“Terrible… you’re waiting for that call from him to check in, just to know that he’s okay,” said Lopresto.
“It’s very tense,” added Danielle Petros, a trooper’s wife. “A lot of anxiety and nervousness because we didn’t know what was going to happen in those 48 days, so it was tough; but again, we had each other to lean on.”
Nearly 30,000 tee-shirts have been sold so far.
The sale has allowed troopers’ wives to bond and form new friendships. Even with Cpl. Dickson’s widow.
“Actually, we just didn’t talk about it,” said Petros. “We tried to keep it normal for her, as normal as possible. She doing the best she can; she’s being very strong for her boys.”
As they continue to support Dickson’s wife, the troopers’ wives say they will never forget the day Frein was captured.
“Just joy, like it was overwhelming,” Lopresto said. “I actually cried because he called me and said, ‘We got him,’ before it was on the news, and I was just like, yes.”
You can get your own “PSP Strong” tee-shirt Sunday morning at the Pittsburgh Officers Down 5K Run/Walk on the North Shore.
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