Large Law Enforcement Presence at Verity Baptist Church Protest

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SACRAMENTO -- Through the sea of protesters and mixed among the colorful flags and signs, law enforcement officers were spotted all throughout Sunday's protest at Verity Baptist Church.

Dozens with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department planted themselves across the church parking lot.

"They have been a Godsend, we did not have one single problem," said protest organizer John Hayden.

The sheriff's department's goal was exactly that. To keep the protest against Pastor Roger Jimenez and his church peaceful after he made anti-LGBT remarks after the Orlando nightclub shooting.

"We talked to both sides about expectations. They both have been pretty open about what our expectations are," said Sgt. Tony Turnbull with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Many were brought in on their day off to patrol the protest. From monitoring the crowds to protecting churchgoers when leaving service, officers helped the event run smoothly. However, they were ready for anything some even held tight to helmets and batons just in case.

"We have officers at different locations and you never know how long this is going to last or if something gets bigger or more out of control you have more officers available for that," said Turnbull.

With nearly a thousand protesters crowding the church on Northgate Boulevard, officers had their work cut out for them, but the effort was appreciated..

"My hat goes off to them, they really helped this event go so well, I was just overwhelmed at one point, it was like this could not have gone any better," said Hayden.

The sheriff's department didn't take away officers from their normal patrolling duties to attend the protest.

The Sacramento Police Department also assisted at the protest and the California Highway Patrol made sure traffic was moving smoothly.

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