SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Law enforcement agencies across the country and in the coastal empire, came together Saturday for national faith and blue weekend. The idea behind the initiative is to combine the faith-based communities and law enforcement agencies, in establishing positive relationships with community members.
When it comes to law enforcement, there’s more to the job than just protecting and serving.
Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter will tell you it’s also about building strong relationships with the community, which is why national faith and blue weekend is essential in creating a strong partnership with the faith-based community.
“You know we’re looking for three things in faith and blue weekend. We’re looking for the opportunity to continue our strong partnership with our faith community. We’re looking to build on our strong partnership with members of our community and we’re looking for that opportunity to address some of the issues and concerns that we know are going on nationwide regarding police-community relations.”
He, along with other community leaders said going beyond the badge and breaking biases when it comes to law enforcement is the key to building trust within the community.
“There’s a narrative in our country now that all cops are bad and we know that’s furthest from the truth," Savannah police chaplain Thomas Sills said. "The way to find that out is to have interactions with them to see that there are cops that are concerned about our citizens and they are here to protect and serve and also build relationships in our communities.”
They said initiatives like this are pivotal in creating a safe space for members of the community.
“This trying time in the country now, we want to do everything to make people have faith in the blue. We’re to protect and serve them, we’re not here to harm them," Chatham County sheriff John Wilcher said.
“This is not a we against them or us against them or they against us, this is about a relationship and we need to make sure that we have better relationships in the community with the sheriff, with the police and with the people in the community," Second Ebenezer Missionary baptist church pastor Ricardo Manuel said.