Roy residents gather to pray for police

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jul 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 00:36:45-04

ROY, Utah -- In the wake of the recent shooting in Dallas that left five officers dead, communities around Utah are coming together to back the blue.

Sunday night, dozens gathered to pray for police outside the Roy Police Department. The circle of love, strength and support stood around the flag pole.

“We love our cops,” said Cherelle Berger, who organized the prayer service. “We love our law enforcement, and we love those in uniform, and we want to be able to support them.”

Berger’s family and friends, as well as several church groups, came together. She said she came up with the idea for a prayer circle after praying to God, wondering how she could help after a tough week in the law enforcement community.

Protesters have blasted police for the shooting deaths of two black men. Then, five officers in Dallas were killed by an anti-police sniper.

“I just feel like a lot of the times with everything that's going on, that cops are not welcomed as often or shown enough support,” she said.

The group was one of many in the last few days to do what they can to help.

“Quite a few citizens from around Roy, coming in bringing in treats for all of the officers,” said Roy Police Detective Josh Taylor.

He said families have stopped by to give them an array of food, coffee, cards and balloons. Citizens also tied blue ribbons around trees, police cars and the department’s front doors. He said it has boosted officers’ morale.

“Fantastic,” Det. Taylor said. “It really kind of helps raise our spirits, with everything that's been going on.”

Other departments are saying the same, including Ogden, Bountiful, West Valley, South Jordan and Spanish Fork. They’ve all received a combination of treats, cards and homemade posters from citizens and businesses.

“It's been amazing,” said Bountiful Police Chief Tom Ross.

He shared a post on Facebook Sunday, saying the disheartening week has turned into one of appreciation and gratitude.

“The community connection with law enforcement is the key,” Chief Ross said.

A connection that continued Sunday night, with prayer.

“They're volunteering to put their lives on the line for us, and we want to thank them for that,” Berger said.

She said she hopes to continue the prayer group at different police stations.

A Backing the Blue rally is planned for Monday evening at Pioneer Park in Provo at 7 p.m.