As police officers across the United States face low morale amid a wave of social unrest and calls for the defunding of police departments, a North Carolina church has taken it upon itself to express support and appreciation for its local police force.
Open Door Baptist Church in the town of Hickory, North Carolina held a special service earlier this month to honor the 19 members of the Long View Police Department.
Police Chief T.J. Bates spoke at the event, where officers were presented with $100 Visa gift cards and plaques of appreciation.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Pastor Shawn Davis explained that the decision to hold the event was made after holding a meeting with Bates. During the meeting, Bates spoke of the low morale among the officers.
Davis hopes that his gestures of goodwill will provide the Long View Police Department with a much-needed morale boost.
“We prayed over them and asked for God’s blessing, safety, and protection,” he said. “We let them know we appreciated their service and courage.”
Davis maintained that “we can’t have a society and be civil” without the police.
“If somebody’s breaking into my house, I call the police department,” the pastor explained. “We need the police department. One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.”