Pastors from various local churches will step down from their pulpits to ride in the passenger seats of Long Beach patrol cars Friday night as part of "Police and Pastors City-Wide Ride Along," a strategy aimed to build relationships between officers and community members.
“Our hope is to enhance our relationships with the officers who patrol our communities and on the reverse, we would like for the police to get to know us better as well,” Long Beach Ministers Alliance (LBMA) officials stated in a release. “Both police and pastors have a vested interest in the wellness of our whole community and should work closer together.”
The goal of this first city-wide ride along is to establish a sense of community policing to follow President Obama’s policing model, according to the release.
During the patrol and if not on call, the Alliance hopes to introduce community members to the officers they are riding with to establish a mutual interest. Alliance officials hope that by the end of the interaction, if the officer and community member were to run into each other in the near future, they will be comfortable to say hello.
Pastors participating in the event include:
- Michael Withers, Fellowship Community Church, North Long Beach
- W.T. Ervin, Church One, North Long Beach
- Gregory Sanders, The ROCK Christian Fellowship, East Long Beach
- John Alwood, Plant LB, East Long Beach
- Prentice Head III, St Paul Baptist Church, West Long Beach
- Dr. Art Gray, Grays Matter Ministry, East Long Beach
- Misi Tagaloa, 2nd Samoan Congregational Church, South Long Beach
- Bruce Riley, Praise Temple, South Long Beach
- Sergio Vazquez, Beacon For Him Ministries, South Long Beach
- Janet Carter, Abundant New Life, North Long Beach
- Gloria Bradley, King’s Church, North Long Beach
- Jerome Carter, South Bay Christian Center, West Long Beach
- Keith Jones, The Word Christian Fellowship, North Long Beach
- Janet Sanders-Moore, Greater United Faith Apostolic Church, North Long Beach
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) and pastors have been working together in attempts to increase and restore community trust and develop a deeper transparency while promoting police and public interactions, LBMA officials stated.
Recently, the Long Beach Ministers Alliance hosted a comedy show to raise awareness to causes such as eliminating human trafficking, veteran homelessness and violence interruption efforts.
“Our aspiration is to reassure our neighborhoods that together we are designing and developing policies and protocols that produce healthy engagements and outcomes between the Long Beach Police and residents,” said LBMA President and Pastor Gregory Sanders.
To learn more about the Long Beach Ministers Alliance, click here.