Community members stood before law enforcement, religious and political leaders to find out how they can work together to tackle crime.
“If you do not educate and make people aware, people will walk around not knowing we have an issue. Own it, sit in it and lets figure out what we can do together to change it,” said Bishop Cherwood Carthen of Bayside South Sacramento Church.
On Sunday, Bishop Carthen shared a documentary with the community that talks about the war on drugs.
Religious leaders and law enforcement were then questioned by FOX40’s Stefanie Cruz to talk about the importance of faith-based organizations and law enforcement partnering together.
“We are inside of law enforcement and they can really tell us they are working for our behalf, but we really know they are working on our behalf,” said Bishop Carthen.
In December, church leaders began working with police — and already they’re seeing results.
“Sometimes there might be a situation where an officer tries to talk to somebody and they are not listening. But you put the clergy there or the faith-based person and it turns the conversation where you are actually having a conversation and people are listening,” said Sacramento Chief of Police Sam Somers.
It is that reason why pastors like Ben Rivers — who was once on the other side — are walking the streets of Sacramento, trying to keep men, women and youth out of prison.
“My being out there and letting them know that God has changed my life and it is real,” said Rivers. “The way we responded we gave them another perspective on how to deal with whatever they were about to deal with.”
They know change will not come overnight, but they hope events like this will inspire others to get involved.