In the wake of some bad apples being exposed among their ranks — and a troubling history of too many bad apples not being held to account — police departments across the U.S. are facing calls for defunding, harsh criticism from the public they're sworn to protect, attacks on officers and precincts, and low morale.
So a Tennessee church decided to make make clear where it stands on supporting local law enforcement — by donating $1,000 to each member of its town's law enforcement, the Christian Post reported.
According to the Post, the Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church in Jonesborough presented checks to its local police Saturday after raising $23,000 for the effort.
The church's pastor, Perry Cleek, told the outlet that his church members believe it is their job to help out, considering the anti-cop climate in the U.S. today.
From the Post:
We have heard the news reports of entire police departments suffering from a debilitating lack of morale. In many places in America, local governments are signaling their support for those who are attacking law enforcement by defunding their local police.
We wanted to make a bold statement in support of law enforcement. Our desire was for our action to send a symbolic message of our support to the Jonesborough Police, but to also show our support in a very practical way by recognizing and supporting each individual employee.
Pastor Cleek admitted that the church is not speaking for everyone in the community and would not ask other churches to join. But his church wanted to be "loud and bold" in its support.
"We believe that millions of Americans feel exactly the same way we do about the treatment of law enforcement in our country, but do not feel they have a voice," Cleek told the Post. "The voices of those blaming and condemning law enforcement for much that is wrong in our country are very loud. We wanted our voice in support of law enforcement to be loud and bold."