RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond church invited law enforcement officers from across Central Virginia to their sanctuary in a show of appreciation Sunday.
Delouis Henderson, a member at Community Church of God in Christ in the Fan, said she would not miss the chance to thank men and women in blue.
Officers from all over Central Virginia were represented at the church's second law enforcement appreciation service.
"I praise God for our law officers, because if we didn't have law officers it would be a reckless nation," Henderson said.
The service comes days after Richmond police hit the midway point in 2017.
Officials said violent crime is up so far this year slightly from last year. However, officials said the increase is seen mostly in city's public housing neighborhoods.
“We don't have the issues that we see across the rest of this nation, so we must always treat people with fairness, respect, and dignity, and we'll be OK,” Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said during the service.
Pastors and police alike said cultivating community is the key to real security and safety.
"Your protection is not that shield or that cover that you have on your chest,” Dr. David Wright, pastor at Community Church of God in Christ, said. “Your protection is your connection. If you stay connected, if we stay protected, then we stay protected."
Henderson stressed working together will help crack down on crime.
"With the cooperation of neighbors, the community, they can get the job done. If we work together," Henderson said.