Pastors in an Ohio county banded together recently to thank police officers for their service and protection and to encourage them in their community roles.
More than a hundred pastors in Richland County, Ohio – about halfway between Columbus and Cleveland – united last Saturday to express gratitude to the county's law enforcement by promoting "Thank a Police Officer Day." At a press conference, Pastor El Akuchie of Godsfield House of Prayer quoted Hebrews 13, then summarized the passage.
"When people seem to disrespect you, they are disrespecting God and his authority," Akuchie pointed out to the officers.
Reverend Ron Puff of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church acknowledged the rift between many communities and their police departments. "As representatives of the faith community, we regret in recent times the contempt police officers have received nationwide for doing their jobs," he shared.
Pastor Moe Hill of Grace Evangelical Free Church asked police to continue reaching out to local communities. "Your profession is ordained of God. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to be in a leadership role," Hill said.
"We must always, always work toward maintaining and building public trust," the pastor concluded. "It's not going to make your jobs any easier; your job's hard – but it will make you more effective at doing your job."
Several restaurants in the county joined the faith leaders by offering free meals to peace officers on Saturday.