GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport church wants police officers to know their dedication, hard work and sacrifice do not go unnoticed. As part of National Police Week, the congregation at Handsboro Baptist Church decided to prepare an appreciation lunch for the Gulfport Police Department. Church members said they were happy to serve those who protect and serve.
Fried Chicken, spaghetti and corn bread. The church ladies whipped up a feast for the Gulfport police officers and staff.
"The police officers, they do put their lives on the line for us all the time," said church member Karla Dumal. "You never know what kind of calls they're going to go out on. It's nice to be able to touch them and shake their hand and let them see appreciation on our faces and hug them."
With several police officers in the congregation, church members said they know about the challenges of being in law enforcement. So the church decided to organize its first police appreciation luncheon.
"Thank you for your protection, your safety, preserving the peace, the compassion," said church member Debbie Nicholson. "We probably don't see their compassion when they're stopping us with a speeding ticket, but they do have it when they're dealing with more serious issues."
"Typically police have to go and respond to people when they're not having their best day. So a lot of times they're under-appreciated for what they do and the sacrifices they make," said Deputy Police Chief Chris Loposser. "So for a group of people to come together and take time out of their day and take time out of their resources to do something nice for us just means the world."
Church members said the lunch is part of National Police Week, but every day of the year officers are always in their prayer list.
"We need to pray for them daily. We need to pray for their protection," Nicholson said. "We need to pray for wisdom for their leaders, and I think being a church, we can certainly do that. We can do that. We can do that as individuals, but we can do that as a congregation as well."
The Pastor of Handsboro Baptist Church also called for a moment of silence in honor of all the police officers who have died in the line of duty.