Blue And White Sunday Service Honors First Responders

From four coastal counties and wearing uniforms representing police, fire, and emergency medical technicians, they responded en mass, to the call from church leaders at Bible Baptist Church Gulfport, to come and be appreciated for their service to their communities on this day reffered to as Blue and White Sunday.

"Very seldom do officers and this circle of people who serve our community have a chance in a relaxed atmosphere to say hey how are you doing instead of passing each other in a car or in some kind of official capacity," says church pastor Rev. Harold Payne.

Guest Speaker John Futrell knows all too well the dangers of the job they face and the importance of community support.

"It put a chill up my back when I heard the words all LAPD units respond code three. We have officers down," says Futrell.

On February 28th, 1997 Futrell was one of the first officers to respond to a North Hollywood Bank Robbery now infamously known as one of the biggest shoot-outs in law enforcement history.

"It was like being in a war zone literally," says Futrell. "Bullets were flying. People were getting hit a mile away."

It's a story he now shares with audiences just like this all across the country. A story he says reinforces the message of Blue and White Sunday.

"The great men and women of the LAPD, the sheriffs department, the fire department, the highway patrol, all law enforcement rolled to assist that day, says Futrell.  "It's was a team effort."

And Futrell says a higher power, along with a supportive public are vitally important parts of that team.