Elevate Christian Network :: News and Events
It is an unusual but powerful partnership, yet the Norfolk Police Department and local clergy have teamed up to form “Norfolk Police Clergy Patrol” as a way to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. (Source: Turning Point Zone)
Transforming Communities With “The Clergy Patrol”
In 2017, Norfolk, Virginia police chief Larry Boone implemented an idea he had—to bridge the ever-growing gap between the police and the community. He thought, “Wouldn’t it be a fantastic idea if clergy and police could patrol together in some of our most problematic areas in the city?”
Chief Boone shared his idea with local pastors. “They were like, ‘I like that idea.’ I said, ‘Can I have your support?’ And, of course, they all said, ‘Absolutely.’” They call it “The Clergy Patrol” where police and local pastors, like Dr. Antipas Harris, work side-by-side.
Police and Clergy Patrol the Streets Together
“This is a great idea for pastors to really engage the police and not just wait to a crisis, but to be proactive building relationship, mediating conflict, trying to find ways to deescalate situations.” When officers respond to a call, the clergy stay in the patrol car. Once it’s safe, they can minister in any way they can.
“We’re there to support as needed. I’ve even prayed for guys who were in handcuffs, and asked for prayer. And in most cases people welcome prayer.” Chief Boone says, “He’s just there to offer you a few words of wisdom, counseling, whatever the case may be. And that benefits the community, that benefits the government, i.e. police, as well as the church.”