PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- It was a day of reconciliation and building trust between the African-American community and the Pittsburgh Police Bureau. Chief Cameron McLay, commanders and officers joined members of the Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church in a service of worship and prayer.
“That’s what we want to demonstrate today, that we are family, justice on both sides that all of us love each other,” said Darryl Canady, pastor of Rodman Street Baptist Church.
Chief McLay told the congregation that police are the community and the community are the police.
“For too long, policing has lost its way. We have forgotten our roots, so this is symbolic of the direction policing needs to go,” he said.
Everyone agrees challenges are ahead, but the pastor says the faith-based community needs to help replace mistrust of police with trust.
“When I dial 911, I want them to come just like any other community. So, we want them to know that African-Americans care. We care about what’s going on in our communities and we’re not going to just sit back and allow lawlessness to take place and we need to be in this together,” said pastor Canady.
Several speakers said there are many reasons why police and the community must work together.
“You see the young people that are here? It’s about them. It’s about their future and how we create a community,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.
State Rep. Ed Gainey was also present for the service.
“We are not here to talk negative and downgrade our police force. We must lift them up and building them up as the community builds up so will law enforcement,” he said.
The service ended with officers locking arms in prayer.