There's been a lot of tension between police and community members, especially in the last couple of years with the movement to defund the police. Ever since then, there's been a national push to bridge the gap.
Faith and Blue is an entire weekend filled with events happening across the country to bring together these two groups. There are several happening in Maryland between October 8-10.
One in particular is the Faith and Blue Festival at Trinity Temple Church in Essex, right by Precinct 11 for the Baltimore County Police Department. The festival is happening on Saturday, October 9 from noon until 4 p.m.
"We can kind can tear down some of those barriers, stereotypes and other things that have developed over the last however many years," said Bob Larson, the Teaching Pastor at the church. He explained how houses of worships were chosen to host events for this national weekend. He said, "houses of worships are where you connect to the community, usually local, usually members of the community what better place to use in a non-threatening environment and really work toward reconciliation."
Pretty much everything is free at the event. There will be free food, games, music and even some free raffles. Some raffles you do have to pay for like a ticket to win a remote control Ravens cooler/speaker. To enter to win text "RavensGear" to 855-202-2100 or click here.
Hundreds of people are expected to come out to the event. They had a couple hundred last year. Hope Larson, Bob's wife and the Chaplain for Baltimore County Police, says last year's event was a huge success.
"There were some folks that came that really did not have good feelings to police and throughout the course of the day and getting to have those conversations and spend that time when they left they said you know this really changed how I feel. I saw it so differently after seeing conversations," said Hope Larson. She can't wait to see what happens this year.
She said, "we’re just excited that the community is able to come together and show support for our local officers and our officers are able to have time with the community one on one."
If you'd like to volunteer to help with the Faith and Blue Festival, contact Hope at her main Precinct by calling (410) 887-0220 or by calling the church (410) 687-7354. If you're a local church and want to do something for the officers in your community, Hope can help you organize something for this weekend in your neighborhood.