PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Every year, Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church honors police and other emergency responders for the service they perform in the community, but there was an even deeper appreciation this year because of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
“There were some police officers and some EMS and some firefighters and others who risked their lives and they saved lives,” Rev. Dr. Darryl Canady said.
Several officers who responded to the shooting were cheered at Sunday’s service. Only one of the officers injured in the shooting attended the service, but all of their names were read aloud and gifts were presented.
EMS officers were also honored for their bravery and 911 dispatchers were recognized for their work behind the scenes.
“No matter what the situation is, they come and they put their lives in harm’s way to protect and serve the community. We wanted to tell them today that we appreciate what they do,” Canady said.
“They stopped that person from getting out into our community and doing far more carnage to our neighbors,” Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said.
The officers’ bravery and dedication was praised by people in the community.
“You are to be honored, respected and revered, and I thank god for you,” retired judge Cheryl Allen said.
“It is the only job you can have where, every day, you can take a life, give your own life to save a life,” Gregory Rogers of the PA NAACP said.
Meanwhile, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald offered this solution to the violence: “These senseless tragedies that take away innocent people and cause us such pain in our communities, we’ve got to continue to make sure that love overcomes hate.”