At Sunday Worship, Rev. Kent read an open letter he wrote to Chief Gregory of the Berea Police. He invited all who wished to join him in thanks for the ways our police force has led the state to reduce the chance that any one here would suffer harm in their dealings with the department. The letter expresses our understanding that their work is both dangerous and often underappreciated. We work tirelessly for the safety of all citizens, black, brown, and pale, and we thank the Berea police in the ways they are partners in that effort. All friends are encouraged to work actively to know and understand our neighbors’ concerns, including those who serve to protect as officers of the law, and to act with God’s mercy as we pursue justice and joy for all. May the changes we make here reduce the divisions and ripple through a hurting world.
July 10, 2016
Chief of Police David Gregory
212 Chestnut Street
Berea, KY 40403
Dear Chief Gregory,
The events of last week have brought such sorrow to our nation. The loss of five brave officers, public servants who ran toward danger not from it, has saddened us all. We cannot help but think it must affect our own police force even more strongly, even more poignantly. We, the undersigned, write to express our deep condolences and more importantly to express our understanding of the heavy responsibility you and your officers accept when undertaking to “protect and serve” the people of Berea.
We are so very proud that Berea’s force has taken proactive and long-standing action to be of service to all citizens. We applaud the progressive efforts that make our force one of the few certified under national standards. We celebrate and will participate in any future ways we can together create an atmosphere of safety and respect, for those in blue and for persons of every skin shade in our city. That you support this goal as well is a comfort to those of us watching the news with horror.
If appropriate, please convey our thoughts to your officers and staff. Too often we have remained silent in our appreciation of the dangers and sacrifices you encounter. Though it is too small and much too late, please accept our thanks and our pledge to remember our gratitude more often and more publicly. We rely on the force to help us live by the laws that make our city and country noteworthy among all people. Thank you for you service, and for striving to hold those laws with the utmost integrity.
In Sorrow and Hope,
Rev. Kent H. Gilbert and members of the Church of Christ, Union (Union Church)