COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus Police Department (CPD) plans to host four local events as part of the 2022 National Faith & Blue Weekend, “one of the largest police-community outreach events,” according to a press release from the CPD. They will take place from Friday, Oct. 7 to Monday, Oct. 10.

This will be National Faith & Blue Weekend’s third year. Having originated in Georgia, it will involve activities that build connections between law enforcement and residents, “create mutual understanding, and enhance justice and reconciliation.” Over 2,000 events will take place nationwide.

“This is an awesome opportunity for law enforcement and faith-based organizations, local churches … to build relationships,” said Sgt. Angela Florence, who is over community relations at the CPD. “It just shows that we’re putting our faith into action.”

The following events will happen locally:

Faith & Blue bicycle ride

Friday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.

  • The CPD, faith-based organizations and any community members who want to participate will enjoy a 5-mile bicycle ride in the downtown area. Participants should bring their own bicycles and helmets. The ride will begin in the west parking lot of the Public Safety Building at 510 10th Street. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the ride will start at 6 p.m. Participants must sign waivers.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace bed delivery

Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8 a.m.

  • The CPD and Columbus State University police will help Sleep in Heavenly Peace deliver beds to children who need them. The team will meet in the Chef Lee’s parking lot at 6100 Bradley Park Drive. This event is not open to the public.

Faith & Blue law enforcement community motorcycle ride

Saturday, Oct. 8 at 9 a.m.

  • Community members are invited to participate in the CPD’s motorcycle ride in honor of the late Corporal Debra Whitley. Participants will meet at the Chattahoochee Valley Church of Christ, located at 122 Bascom Court, at 8 a.m. Kickstands will go up at 9 a.m. Participants will ride to the Hamilton Courthouse parking lot, located at 102 N. College Street in Hamilton, where there will be a balloon release in honor of Whitley. Participants must sign waivers.

Faith & Blue breakfast for Columbus police officers

Sunday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 a.m.

  • Pastor Joseph Baker and members of St. James A.M.E. Church, located at 1002 6th Avenue, will provide breakfast to the day watch shift of the Columbus Police Department Patrol Division, starting at 6:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Doors will open at 6 a.m. This event will not be open to the public.

The Faith & Blue website states that Faith & Blue was “inaugurated” in 2020 by MovementForward, Inc. in cooperation with Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) at the U.S. Department of Justice. Its creators wanted to reinforce ties between officers and residents to create neighborhoods where residents feel “safe and included.”

“Faith-based organizations are key to building these bonds because they are not only the largest community resource in the nation, with 65 million participants in weekly events, but because they are as diverse as our nation,” says the website. “Moreover, they speak to Americans’ shared conviction that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”