MUNCY, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Building a better relationship between law enforcement and the community was the focus of a Lycoming County event Sunday.
It’s National Faith and Blue Weekend, an initiative carried out by law enforcement and the church communities they serve. Pennsylvania State Police Troop F of Montoursville reached out to Hope Community Church for a luncheon after Sunday service.
“They actually took care of everything for us, which is actually a nice treat for us. So, they were able to grill hot dogs and they had chips and cookies and the thing that was also nice was that they had things for the kids,” Pastor Brad Peace said.
Kids took pictures with a state trooper cutout and saw a scrapbook of police helping people throughout the years.
“We got to get candy and we talked to them and look through a book of pictures,” church member Lucy Hendershot said.
Churchgoers say positive events like this rebuild trust with law enforcement and help children to not fear the police.
“I think often there’s a stigma of fear that people have of police officers, when man, they’re there to help protect and love and serve and you know much of the way the Christ does for us,” church member Sarah Zalonis said.
Trooper William Jones, who’s also a member at the church, says it’s important to maintain these relationships with residents.
“We are approachable, and we are fun-loving and you know we can talk to them and get on their level. And they can have not just respect for us but have an understanding that we’re just people and we’re here to help them,” Jones said.
Trooper Jones says they’re already working to plan more community events before the year is over.