In honor of National Faith & Blue weekend, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a special festival this Saturday, Oct. 9 to bring local law enforcement agents together with members of the community.
“Join your local law enforcement and members of your community for a weekend of resolution and reconciliation. National Faith & Blue Weekend is a collaborative effort to build bridges and break biases,” said a release from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley is looking forward to the event, hoping community members take the opportunity to get to know their local public servants who work to ensure the safety of all citizens.
“The Faith & Blue event is an important event because it gives an opportunity for both officers and the community to meet in a social setting, rather than a work session,” said Markley. “We are very fortunate in Morgan County. I think the relationship we have in our town, in our community and in our county is a good one. I realize in other areas the relationship between law enforcement and the community is not so good, but we have a community here in Morgan County that supports us very strongly.”
Markley is hoping all sectors of the community will turn out Saturday morning to show their support during National Faith & Blue weekend. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and goes until 1 p.m. There will be food, games, music and giveaways. According to Markley, blue light bulbs will be given away for people to screw into their porch lights.
“It’s a chance for people to show their support for law enforcement and when officers drive by they will see the blue light and know they are appreciated,” said Markley.
The Faith & Blue event will be held at the Morgan County Public Safety Complex, located at 1380 Monticello Road in Madison this Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
According to a press release from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement groups across the country are participating in the Faith & Blue movement, hailed as the largest police-community outreach initiative ever.
“As crime escalates and tensions between police and some communities linger, law enforcement organizations are uniting with local communities for National Faith & Blue Weekend 2021 (Oct. 8-11) to encourage dialogue and collaboration,” said the release.
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, along with every major national law enforcement group, state and regional associations representing 47 states, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is partnering with Atlanta-based MovementForward, Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) initiative to jointly organize the most consolidated police-community outreach project in history — National Faith & Blue Weekend 2021 (Faith & Blue).
Organizers of the national movement believe dialogue and relationship building is the best way to improve distrust and hostility toward law enforcement officials.
“For the past several years, we’ve seen enormous strains in the relationship between law enforcement and communities,” says MovementForward CEO and Faith & Blue lead organizer Rev. Markel Hutchins. “Recent times have proven that we cannot simply march and protest away the problems — we have to turn our pain into power,” continues Rev. Hutchins. “Our pathway to progress around policing as a nation is a collaborative one that focuses on our commonalities rather than our differences.”
According to Hutchins, “In its inaugural year of 2020, National Faith & Blue Weekend facilitated 1,000 community-led activities in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Collaborations between law enforcement and local groups – especially faith-based organizations – are invaluable force-multipliers for creating safer and more engaged communities. Faith & Blue will positively impact Americans by directly engaging community influencers, residents, and law enforcement professionals in every state across the United States.”
The movement aims to bring together religious communities to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the broader community.
The Faith and Blue movement was founded in October 2020, after the national spotlight fell on the tragic murder of George Floyd and other officer-involved deaths that sparked controversy and tension between local communities and police.
For more information about National Faith & Blue Weekend (Faith & Blue), visit www.faithandblue.org.