A celebration of Detroit police officers at St. Christopher's Church

Blue Mass_Flyer_Final for PrinterOn Saturday, may 16 at 1 p.m. in Northwest Detroit at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, His Grace Bishop Donald Hanchon of the Detroit Archdiocese presided over a “Blue Mass” in recognition of National Police Week  “A celebration of appreciation and hope to honor our men and women in BLUE”.
Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland, who represents a large portion of Northwest Detroit, and a diverse coalition of residents, civil rights leaders, joined with other local officials to pay tribute to police at the local and federal level demonstrating their commitment to building trust and working together.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig, FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Abbate, FBI Community Outreach Specialist Bushra Alawie  and Captains and Neighborhood Police Officers  from the second, sixth and tenth precincts were also honored.        Portions of second, sixth, and tenth precincts overap with Detroit City Council District 7 represented by Councilman Leland.     Blues Singer Thornetta Davis will sing two selections including God Bless America.   Community leaders attending include Bishop Walter L. Starghill, President of the Western Wayne NAACP, Elisa Grubbs of Truth, Trust and Transparency Project, Theo Broughton of Hood Research, and Imad Hamad of the American Human Rights Council.
State Representative Harvey Santana, Wayne County Commissioner Alisha Bell, Police Commission Chairman Willie Bell, Police Commissioner Ricardo Moore and Police Commissioner Willie Burton and others will participate in the celebration.
“I am very encouraged by the work being done in Detroit District 7 by local officers and residents to build trust and promote public safety.    The relationship between residents and the police in Northwest Detroit is special and should be used a model across this nation.  This Saturday, a diverse coalition of faith, civil rights and community leaders will celebrate our neighborhood officers, real life heroes at a BLUE Mass in the as part of National Police Week activities, said Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland.
Date/Time:  Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 1:00pm.
Host:  Fr. Jaime Hinojos, Pastor, St. Christopher’s Catholic Church – 7800 Woodmont, Detroit MI 48228 with Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland and a diverse coalition of faith, civil rights and community representatives.
Honorees include:
Chief James Craig, DPD
Special Agent in Charge Paul Abbate, FBI
Bushra Alawie, FBI Community Outreach Specialist
The Officers of the Second, Sixth and Tenth Precinct
Captain Steven Walton (6th Precinct)
Captain Nick Kyriacou (10th Precinct)
Captain Harold Rochon (2nd Precinct)
Neighborhood Police Officer Melvin Chuney (10th Precinct)
The following officers from the 6th Precinct:
Sergeant Joseph Machon – 19 Years of service – Special Operations supervisor.  Sergeant Machon oversees Special Operations which is responsible for proactive street enforcement and the apprehension of violent felons in the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer Keith Ballard – 19 Years of service – Assigned to Special Operations. Officer Ballard is a member of the Sixth Precinct Special Operations which is responsible for proactive street enforcement and the apprehension of violent felons in the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer Shawn Lee – 19 Years of service – Assigned to Special Operations. Officer Lee is a member of the Sixth Precinct Special Operations which is responsible for proactive street enforcement and the apprehension of violent felons in the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer William Tatum – 15 Years of service – Assigned to Special Operations. Officer Tatum is a member of the Sixth Precinct Special Operations which is responsible for proactive street enforcement and the apprehension of violent felons in the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer David Garcia – 15 Years of service – Assigned to Special Operations. Officer Garcia is a member of the Sixth Precinct Special Operations which is responsible for proactive street enforcement and the apprehension of violent felons in the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer Charles Staples – 22 Years of service – Assigned as a Neighborhood Police Officer.  Officer Staples is a Sixth Precinct Neighborhood Police Officer who is responsible for addressing quality of life issues and blight complaints, as well as any other issues brought to him by the citizens of the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer Michael Gordon – 20 Years of service – Assigned as a Neighborhood Police Officer.  Officer Gordon is a Sixth Precinct Neighborhood Police Officer who is responsible for addressing quality of life issues and blight complaints, as well as any other issues brought to him by the citizens of the Sixth Precinct.
Police Officer Heather Ivey – 18 Years of service – Assigned as a Neighborhood Police Officer.  Officer Ivey is a Sixth Precinct Neighborhood Police Officer who is responsible for addressing quality of life issues and blight complaints, as well as any other issues brought to her by the citizens of the Sixth Precinct.
Dignitaries and Special Guests include:
Bishop Donald F. Hanchon, Archdiocese of Detroit
Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland
Wayne County Commissioner Alisha Bell

State Representative Harvey Santana
Walter L. Stargill, Western Wayne County NAACP
Imad Hamad, American Human Rights Council
Police Commission Chair Willie Bell
Police Commissioner Willie Burton (District 5)
Police Commissioner Ricardo Moore (District 7)
Elisa Grubbs, Truth, Trust and Transparency Project
Theo Broughton, HOOD Research
Students from Noble School
Purpose:  The Detroit community will honor our police heroes that serve our community every day with distinction and honor.     “We will highlight strong community relations in Northwest Detroit and demonstrate our commitment to working together,” says Leland.
Additional info:  A special ‘reception of honor’ will take place immediately after the church service in the church hall (at apx. 2pm) – light refreshments will be served.  Please see attached flyer.
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
An open letter from the hosting Pastor:
 
 
April 6, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
My name is Father Jaime Hinojos.  I am the Pastor here at the Parish of St Christopher – St Thomas Aquinas, Detroit.  Our parish was established in 1941 (and the St Thomas site in 1955).  We are located in the far west-side of Detroit in the “Warrendale” area.   Our parish has a long history of serving the needs of our community.  We continue to this day the rich tradition of service with our many outreach programs and ‘community builder projects’.
On Saturday, May 16th at 1:00pm we invite the entire community of Detroit and the surrounding suburbs to our church of St Christopher Parish (located at 7800 Woodmont, Detroit MI 48228) as we honor our men and women who serve as police officers in our community.  These brave men and women put on a uniform every day to carry out an often thankless job in conditions that are sometimes described as a “war zone”.  To serve and protect our community every moment, of everyday, including while we sleep comfortable in our beds is a true ‘calling’ – no different than that of a nurse, doctor, reverend or a priest.
Our message for this event is one of “appreciation and hope”.  In recent times we have seen an increase of fear and misunderstanding due to some highlights of certain media.  What we do not see is the thousands and thousands of police officers that serve with distinction and honor every single day without a simple “Thank You” for their sacrifices.  Well, on May 16th it is our opportunity as “people of the community” to do just that.
We have adopted a title in our Parish: “Familiam Dei” (We are one ‘family of God’).  We welcome you to witness this genuine outpouring of appreciation, gratitude and hope for the future.  Come witness the ‘good side’ of our Detroit community’s relationship with our men and women in blue.

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