HOUSTON - Tension between law enforcement and some citizens has become toxic across the country. Now local law officers have launched a campaign and they're asking you to participate.
“We can heal, not just this rift between law enforcement and the citizens that we police across this nation. Let it start here. Let it start now. Let it start in Houston,” says Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
At a time when it seems there's a different hand gesture some want to give police, there's now a new movement asking you to give every officer you see the "thumbs up". ”Men and women in law enforcement are the thick blue fabric that holds our communities and our society together,” explains Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland Jr.
The campaign is called "Pray For Police". “I believe in the power of prayer. If we join together, join our voices, join our prayers, join our hands we can make a difference,” adds Mayor Parker.
The Houston Police Officer's Union will give out "P4P" wristbands from 6:00 a.m. Wednesday to 6:00 a.m. Thursday at the union office on 1602 State Street and a KSBJ gospel radio team will pray with those stopping by.
“We're asking for your help to support the men and women who wear this because all of us know but for the grace of God go I,” says Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman. The campaign comes after Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth was recently shot to death while refueling his patrol car.
”With Deputy Goforth's death there's been an awakening in Harris County, Houston and across the country exactly what law enforcement does for us every single day because every single day they don't know whether they are going to be able to come home to their families or not,” explains Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson.
During the news conference it’s hard to miss the rows of pictures hanging on the wall of Houston officers who did not return to their families. The large group of city officials and local law enforcement who gathered on the stage launching the campaign say they hope no other photos will be added to the display.
The P4P/Thumbs up campaign and wristbands are already making their way across the country and to the White House. “We were advised on Saturday that the President had received them, will be taking a picture with the thumbs up and he'll be sending that out as well,” says Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officer’s Union.
You're asked to also show your support by using #p4p on social media.