Richmond police to worship with community members as church honors their service

Published: May. 12, 2016 at 4:14 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2016 at 5:41 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In just a matter of days, a series of events will kick off nationwide to show appreciation for police.

We won't forget the tragedy that unfolded in our own backyard in March, when Virginia State Police Trooper Chad Dermyer was gunned down at Richmond's Greyhound Station. Dermyer is one of several fallen officers being remembered at a Richmond church this Sunday.

It's a unique effort to unite the public and police as the community gathers to honor those who protect and serve.

In a moment's notice, they have to get there.

"No matter how harmful or dangerous it may seem or sound, I can't say 'I can't take that call' or 'I can't go,'" said Sgt. Carol Brown.

It's the oath she took to keep you safe. Brown takes her job seriously although nationally, high-profile events surrounding some officers have clouded the perception some communities have of police.

"There are many who have had negative experiences and many who have been connected with people who have had negative experiences," said Pastor Emory Berry of Fourth Baptist Church. "We've seen police brutality. We've seen instances of abuse of power. We've seen unfair arrests, etc…I definitely want to applaud our police chief, Chief Durham, who is doing a phenomenal job, I think, of trying to bridge those gaps, and we want to partner with them."

This Sunday, he'll do just that with an Officer Appreciation Ceremony with Richmond Police officers attending church with the community.

"Our Honor Guard is going to come here. One of our officers is going to read scripture. One's going to do altar prayer. We're going to honor and do a roll call for our fallen officers and the Chief is going to speak for a little bit," Brown said.

The event kicks off Police Week with tribute events for officers taking place nationwide.

"Let them know that we welcome you into our space, letting them know that we do realize they're human beings as well, that they need to be inspired, motivated and prayed for as they put their lives on the line," Berry added.

"This is the way that it's supposed to be, that we celebrate together because we work together and we have experiences together," Brown said.

The service takes place Sunday, May 15 at 10 a.m. at the Fourth Baptist Church located at 2800 P Street in Richmond. It is open to the public.

On Friday, Richmond officers will travel to Washington by bicycle to honor officers who died in the line of duty. They will join more than 100 officers from other Virginia law enforcement agencies - departing from the State Capitol at 6:30 in the morning.

As part of Police Week, Chesterfield Police honored fallen officers with a wreath-laying ceremony:

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