Police, community members came together to connect through 'Faith and Blue' event

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's a wake-up call to neighborhoods across Philadelphia. Drums pounded, and pastors and police stood arm in arm for the 'Faith and Blue' event.

The goal of this event is to ease tensions between police and the community as people in West Philadelphia were drawn to the music on display Saturday.

"It's important to me because I actually grew up in this neighborhood, and I know we're trying to resolve the issues," said Rev. Dr. Joe Nock of Second Antioch Baptist Church. "With regard to crime and also pulling us together as a community."

Philadelphia Police Captain Samantha Brown said, "The first way we can get that done is by communicating with each other."

The march through the 16th district was just a few miles from where gunfire erupted during a vigil for a teen in Southwest Philadelphia Friday night.

Brown says she hopes events like this will reach out to the youth.

"We know it's a work in progress, we know there's a lot to be done, but we're making that change," said Brown.

In North Philadelphia, police and the community met at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, where the pastor prayed for the neighborhood.

"People are just looking to be safe in times like these with so much violence going on," said pastor Glen Spaulding. "Not only here in North Philadelphia, but everywhere at this time."

In Center City, at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul there was a service to pray for police.

"65 million Americans attend, some sort of faith-based service," said Rev. Market Hutchins, the national founder of Faith and Blue Weekend. "And those gatherings must be empowered to build bridges between law enforcement and the communities."

There were a thousand faith and blue events like the ones in Philadelphia going on across the country Saturday.

The organizer says he chose to spend the day in Philadelphia because he thinks the city can be a leader in bridging the gap between community and police.
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