MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Interim Director Mike Rallings and Dr. Bill Adkins from Greater Imani Church came together on Thursday to ask everyone to participate in what is being called Blue Sunday.
It's an effort for community improvement and a movement where they are asking the community to wear blue to church on Sunday in support of law enforcement officers, regardless of where you attend church.
If you're interested in participating, RSVP online here. Be sure to share the event with your friends to encourage them to be part of the movement too!
Rallings and local pastors said supporting law enforcement does not exclude you from supporting social justice or movements like Black Lives Matter.
Dr. Adkins stood with pastors from his church as well as Rallings on Thursday to declare Sunday, July 24 as Blue Sunday. Supporters want everyone to wear blue to church Sunday to show support for local law enforcement agents.
"I thought it was imperative that a church such as ours--we're a multicultural church, but we're predominantly African-American--to step out and sort of be an ensign, and to say 'We care about our police; we support our police.' We can have concerns about other things, but at the same time we care about our police department," Adkins said when asked why he wanted to see the city participate in Blue Sunday to show support for local officers.
"We want to show our appreciation and respect for our Memphis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in the area," Adkins said.
He said his church speaks loudly to both sides of the issue.
"We have a great concern, as everyone does, of policing where someone is unfortunately killed in custody or killed in questionable circumstances," Adkins said. "But, at the same time, we stand in support of our police department because we believe we have the very best policing by the best police."
Rallings said community relations is a two way process and thanked those who stood with the department.
"I just want to thank Memphis for stepping up," Rallings said. "Community relations go both ways."
Rallings said the support is much needed as his department is forced to decrease community policing due to growing tensions.
"We think it's a great idea, because this is a tough time for law enforcement all across the nation. Officers need to get their batteries recharged, they need to know the community supports them. So i just commend Pastor Adkins and Greater Imani for stepping forward," Rallings said.
He said his officers remain vigilant and appreciate the gesture of Blue Sunday.
"In spite of all that, the MPD is still feeding kids, still gathering school supplies, still mentoring kids, our community centers are still strong," Rallings said.