Police and Pastors Join For City-Wide Ride Along

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We currently live in a nation where tensions between Police and Community have never been more apparent. Regardless of where you reside, broadcasts of protests, violence, unarmed shootings and select resentment of Law Enforcement are headline news. The images seem inescapable.

In a proactive approach, The Police and Pastors of Long Beach, California are working together to increase [and in some cases restore] community trust, develop deeper transparency, accountability as well as promote healthy Police and Public interactions.

On Friday night, September 30, 2016, the community will observe leading Pastors on ride-alongs with Police officers in various points of the city of Long Beach simultaneously. Police on patrol in the north, east, west and south divisions will roll out with a Pastor in the car. It’s a strategy called “Police And Pastors City-Wide Ride Along.”

“The goal according to Gregory Sanders [Sr. Pastor of The ROCK Christian Fellowship and current President of The Long Beach Ministers Alliance] is multi-faceted. Our aspiration is to reassure our neighborhoods that together we are designing and developing policies and protocols that produce healthy engagements and outcomes between the Long Beach Police and residents.”

“We would like to compose a sentiment of President Obama’s 21st Century Policing model by demonstrating an authentic sense of Community Policing”

“Our hope is to enhance our relationships with the Officers who patrol our communities. And on the reverse, we would like for the Police to get to know us better as well. Both Police and Pastors have a vested interest in the wellness of our whole community and should work closer together”

“While on the ride along, if not on a call, as we see our families and community members, we hope to have opportunities to say hello and introduce the Officer we are riding with. Ideally, the plan is to establish a dialogue of mutual interest. Our hope is, the next time, that community member and Officer see each other, they will feel comfortable enough to at least wave and/or saying hello.”

Pastors scheduled to participate are:

Michael Withers, Fellowship Community Church, North Long Beach
W.T. Ervin, Church One, North Long Beach
Gregory Sanders, The ROCK Christian Fellowship, East Long Beach
John Alwood, Plant LB, East Long Beach
Prentice Head III, St Paul Baptist Church, West Long Beach
Dr. Art Gray, Grays Matter Ministry, East Long Beach
Misi Tagaloa, 2nd Samoan Congregational Church, South Long Beach
Bruce Riley, Praise Temple, South Long Beach
Sergio Vazquez, Beacon For Him Ministries, South Long Beach
Janet Carter, Abundant New Life, North Long Beach
Gloria Bradley, King’s Church, North Long Beach
Jerome Carter, South Bay Christian Center, West Long Beach
Keith Jones, The Word Christian Fellowship, North Long Beach
Janet Sanders-Moore, Greater United Faith Apostolic Church, North Long Beach

According to Sanders, “this is the first city-wide, simultaneous ride along proposed in Long Beach. Several more are planned throughout 2016. We are grateful to our Police Chief, Robert Luna and his Command Staff for maintaining an open door policy of welcoming difficult conversations. The department has encouraged and embraced collaborative opportunities with the Alliance to cultivate partnerships that stimulate policy and practice discussions when required.”

Long Beach Pastors who would like to participate should email: info@lbmalliance.org

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