Spartanburg PD introduces new program to strengthen community re - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg PD introduces new program to strengthen community relations

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Spartanburg Police Department chaplains and public information office (far left). (Source: Fox Carolina) Spartanburg Police Department chaplains and public information office (far left). (Source: Fox Carolina)

"We have a very hopeful city, a very prayerful city, and one that's trying to do it the right way," said Spartanburg Chief of Police Alonzo Thompson, when addressing members of the community about a new program to be started through their chaplains program on Tuesday night.

"Policing in Partnership isn't just a motto on our car, it's what we believe in," said Thompson. 

The chief said because of recent issues across the country between the police and their communities, the chaplains have created the 'Adopt a Cop' program. "We wondered if we could connect our churches in some way to police officers that would go a long way to building trust," said Justin Kendrick, a chaplain for the police department. 

He said the chaplains will pair officers with churches, that volunteer to take part in the program. "We're giving them a lot of freedom in terms of what they can do with the officer, send them emails regularly just to check on them, send them birthday cards, take them out to eat," said Kendrick.

He said larger churches can adopt more than one officer, and they are also hoping to reflect the diversity in their communities."Pair people up across racial lines, so that African American churches are adopting white officers, predominantly white churches are adopting African American officers, just to kind of work at some of the issues that still divide us as a country."

Chief Thompson said he's all for it,"We will be enhancing a lot of our relationships and building new ones, through this effort. I think, there's no downside to it at all."

He said they hope to spark conversations through this program and increase understanding on both ends. "Tolerance isn't the word, it's acknowledging, it's accepting and it's appreciating the other, but realizing that it is our diversity, that really is our strength," said Thompson. 

If you would like to get your church involved in the 'Adopt a Cop' program, you can email, spdchaplains@gmail.com or call (864)-596-2376. 

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