HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Often the only time police interact with the community is when something bad happens. One local department is making a conscious effort to keep that from happening. We caught up with the officers at church of all places. They were visiting Fallbrook Church, not to get to know God a little better, but to build a relationship with the community.
”We are honored to present $5,000 that I personally give,” Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman smiled as he handed the massive check to Fallbrook Church Pastor Michel Pender.
The gift is part of a huge commitment Constable Herman is making to get to know the residents in his jurisdiction.
”Community policing is very important in this day and time,” says the constable.
At a time when race relations are strained between some police departments and the African American community, Constable Herman is donating thousands of his own money to Fallbrook Church, a mostly black congregation.
“To bridge that gap between police and citizens,” says Herman.
“It's very important to know the police officers are helping, not only in ways to keep the community safe but also giving back,” adds 17-year-old Fallbrook member Kayla Jackson.
“If you can reach the kids when they're a young age and they see we're not the enemy and we're just like them and we want them to succeed,” says Constable Herman.
The money will pay for summer camps at the 10,000 member church. Precinct 4 deputies are also spending time at some of the events, getting to know the kids.
“Every community should try to build a relationship to where they (police) are seen as partners,” explains Pastor Pender.
Precinct 4 also has summertime giveaways planned and back to school snowcones.
Church member Reece Moffett, 19, says when the police and community get to know each another they also respect, trust and value one another.
“It makes a great difference. Like having a giant potluck, basically so everyone gets to know each other on a personal level so we don't have to associate them in uniform as bad. Get to know them as human because every person is human behind their job,” Moffett said.
The Fallbrook Church pastor says he hopes to continue growing relationships with every law enforcement agency in the Northwest Harris County area.