A group of Ohio clergy came together to support their local law enforcement officers by calling for a “Day of Prayer and Appreciation for Local Law Enforcement.”
Citing “hostility” from public officials and the declining staffing that many local police departments are facing, the pastors also asked for Christians to support local officers by “standing in solidarity through prayer, doing acts of charity towards those wearing the badge, publicly advocating on behalf of our local law enforcement, and promoting a career in this noble profession.”
are facing, the pastors also asked for Christians to support local officers by “standing in solidarity through prayer, doing acts of charity towards those wearing the badge, publicly advocating on behalf of our local law enforcement, and promoting a career in this noble profession.”
The pastors held a press conference in front of the City Hall in Mansfield to announce the proclamation. Pastor Matt Merendino explained his reason for supporting the local police. He said, “Our local police departments are seeing dropping numbers of applicants for job openings, and the local police academy is graduating less students majoring in Criminal Justice.”
Referring to pressure on politicians to reduce police funding and end qualified immunity for officers, he said, “As efforts to divide our nation continue, we stand united in support of our local police and our resolve is only getting stronger.”
Local officers were grateful to the clergy for their support. Richland County Sheriff Steve Sheldon said, “Both Mansfield City and Richland County have ‘In God We Trust’ emblems on their police cruisers. While we have problems in our community, we know that God is still bigger than any problem we have.”
One local elected official pointed to the support from local churches as a reason law enforcement officers should want to work in the area. “If you are in local law enforcement and want to serve in a community that supports law and order, move to Richland County, Ohio and bring your family with you,” commented Mansfield City Councilman Jason Lawrence. He continued, “We believe this community can be a great place for both the young and the old to live in.”
Fourteen of the congregations involved in the resolution also raised $5,000 to support the Sheriff’s department and five local police departments.
The clergy who issued the resolution represented a wide variety of Christian denominations and included a Jewish congregation as well.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kaybe
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”