These days, relationships between communities and police are often strained. But in 2017, Norfolk, Virginia police chief Larry Boone implemented an idea he had—to bridge the ever-growing gap.
“Some portions of Norfolk are very difficult. A lot of these incidents are occurring just down the street from the church. Wouldn’t it be a fantastic idea if clergy and police could patrol together in some of our most problematic areas in the city?”
Chief Boone shared his idea with local pastors. “They were like, ‘I like that idea.’ I said, ‘Can I have your support?’ And, of course, they all said, ‘Absolutely.'”
They call it “The Clergy Patrol” where police and local pastors, like Dr. Antipas Harris, work side-by-side.
“This is a great idea for pastors to really engage the police and not just wait to a crisis, but to be proactive building relationship, mediating conflict, trying to find ways to de-escalate situations.”
When officers respond to a call, the clergy stay in the patrol car. Once it’s safe, they can minister in any way they can.
“We’re there to support as needed. I’ve even prayed for guys who were in handcuffs and asked for prayer. And in most cases people welcome prayer.”
This article continues at [CBN News] ‘Jesus Sent Them Out There in Twos’: As Police & Pastors Tag Team, Norfolk Crime Rate Plunges