Members of a small Middletown church are hosting a special service in hopes of showing local police officers they’re appreciated despite what some say has been an onslaught of violence and hatred toward their profession.
A New Beginning Full Gospel Church, 200 S. Marshall Road, is hosting the service at 7 p.m. Nov. 2, said Millie Carrozza, a church member and event organizer. She said church members want police officers to know their sacrifices are noticed.
“With everything going on, we feel they’re not as appreciate and they take a lot of heat,” Carrozza said. “We love them and appreciate them.”
So far this year, 101 police officers have been killed in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Of those, 38 were shot to death, well ahead of last year’s pace, according to the fund. The 38 shooting deaths represent a 58 percent increase over the 24 for the same period in 2015, the fund said. The decade’s highest total came in 2011, with 73 officers fatally shot.
The one-hour service in Middletown will be non-traditional and will focus on the police officers and their sacrifices, Carrozza said. A four-minute video, entitled “Dear Officer, I See You,” will be shown. In the narrated video, people are shown writing thank-you notes to officers on cardboard.
In the video, a female says: “You are honorable. You are courageous. You are worthy of a nation’s support. We see you. We hear you. We love you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice.”
Pastor Kyle Worley’s sermon will be about officer sacrifices, Carrozza said.
Then those in attendance will gather around the church’s flag pole for prayer and a moment of silence. They also will be given blue glow sticks.
The event is free and open to the public. Carrozza has contacted the Middletown Division of Police inviting off-duty officers to the service. She also hopes some officers can drive by the church at 8 p.m. and flash their lights and sirens.
Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said pro-police events like these “mean everything” to the officers.
“Knowing that we have that support from people makes our job a whole lot easier and makes you want to continue to do a great job for the community,” he said.