Law Enforcement Officers from all over Westchester County gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church on 15 Marble Place in Tuckahoe for their first annual Law Enforcement Officers Day down the street from the future home of Tuckahoe Marriott Springhill Suite.
On Shiloh Baptist’s “U-N-I-T-Y Sunday” Rev. Michael B. Gerald, Pastor of Shiloh open its doors to show appreciation to local law enforcement officers and their families. Damon K. Jones, New York Representative, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America spoke on how he has been on the job for 25 years and this was the first time a church had an appreciation for law enforcement that he knew of.
“This is a great day for law enforcement in Westchester County,” says Jones. “This is the first ever Law Enforcement Appreciation day I have known of in my 25 yrs of service”
While this may not be exclusive to the 100-plus-year-old church, Shiloh Baptist, has clergy and leaders in their congregation who served, including retired law enforcement like Rev. Michael B. Gerald (New Jersey State Police) and Deacon Trifon Rose (NYPD), and they are one if not the only church to hold such an event for law enforcement officers and family.
Black Westchester, whose Publisher and Co-Founder Damon K. Jones is the President of BLEA (Blacks In Law Enforcement of America) and has 25 years on the job, have always maintained ‘we are not anti-law enforcement, we are anti any individuals who feel they can do whatever they want and violate our community.’
Rev. Michael B. Gerald, echoed that sentiment during his sermon-like inspirational words he delivered just before the closing prayer. “You can’t be in a role of authority and not be willing to be under authority.” Rev. Gerald went on to say how Law Enforcement is a calling, the call to run into dangers other run from to save others. It takes special individuals to answer that call.
Other speakers included Minister Edward Stowe (Retired Deputy Warden, NY Dept. of Corrections), who did the Call To Worship, Sgt. Kevin Johnson who did the Flag Salute, Sgt. Shivaun S. Calden (Westchester County Dept. of Corrections) who did The Occasion & Acknowledgements and the Westchester County Dept. of Corrections Honor Guard. Those in attendance included John Costanzo, Tuckahoe Chief of Police.
While Black Westchester has and will continue to go hard on the few ‘bad apples’ in law enforcement who abuse their authority in our communities we join Shiloh Baptist Church in saluting the many men and women in law enforcement who day in and day out selflessly serve the communities they are hired to protect. We support you and thank you for all you do to keep us safe!
For more information on Shiloh Baptist Church, whose missions statement is ‘birthing a New century with ReNewed Purpose: the second Hundred years begin now’ check their website.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.