Port Huron Police Department to Co-Host First Faith-Based Community Event

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The Port Huron Police Department and Michigan State Police will co-host a faith-based event on Saturday to foster positive police-community relations and dialogue.

faith and blue the event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the municipal office center, 100, boul. McMorran, and will include local faith organizations, a touch truck, free candy, police dog demonstrations, a game trailer, interfaith prayer and food trucks. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

People of all faiths and religions, as well as those not affiliated with any faith or religion, are welcome, said Port Huron Police Community Services Officer Sam Baker.

Kimberly Vetter, public information officer for the Michigan State Police, said all stations will hold community events this weekend to strengthen law enforcement and community relations.

All St. Clair County law enforcement departments were also asked to attend, Baker said.

Faith and Blue is a national organization that encourages dialogue and cooperation between law enforcement and faith-based organizations as a way to build strong communities through mutual respect and understanding, according to their site.

Baker also said he hopes the event will facilitate dialogue between law enforcement, religious organizations and residents in a relaxed and casual setting. Faith-based organizations reflect the diversity of the community and are often one of the largest organizations in a community, he said.

“The faith community is a pretty good demographic and makeup of the communities you serve, so it’s basically about putting those two pillars of the community, law enforcement and faith-based organizations, together and having a day or a while to just be able to have a little dialogue,” Baker said.

Andrew Seppo, executive director of Operation Transformation, said his organization was delighted to participate in the event and show its support for the police service.

“It’s just a great morale booster for everyone to see that we’re all on the same page and we all believe and pray that this area will and will remain safe and protected,” Seppo said.

Mark Fancher, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Project, said all efforts by the police department to hold community events and facilitate meaningful dialogue should be applauded.

Faith-based organizations could be a particularly beneficial sector of the community to partner with for law enforcement services. Most religions and religious traditions promote love, compassion, empathy and charity for others as a core belief, which departments can learn from and implement in their own practices, said Fancher.

“Most religious traditions have a set of values, a set of beliefs and tenets that are based largely on compassion for other human beings, their assistance, the elevation of their protection, things that affirm humanity of all, those are among the best characteristics of most religious beliefs and faith communities,” Fancher said. “And I think for law enforcement, if they were that bold, they can rate themselves , assess their culture, assess their practices and policies against these kinds of standards.”

Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or [email protected]

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