Orlando officers participating in National Faith and Blue weekend to create more community connection

Annual event strengthens connections between law enforcement, residents

ORLANDO, Fla. – Officers with the Orlando Police Department gathered virtually for National Day of Prayer on Thursday.

“Law enforcement find themselves reaching out for the right answers and we want to know that we are doing a good job and how we can best move forward and listen to the community,” Deputy Chief Jose Valez said.

In different languages, they all closed their eyes and took a moment to reflect on those who go above and beyond.

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“They witnessed the police department coming together with our houses of worship,” Lieutenant Tanesha Braunskill said.

Braunskill explained this is the second annual National Faith and Blue Weekend, which helps strengthen connections between law enforcement officers and residents with the help of faith leaders from all over Orlando.

“With the current climate and things that are going on around the world, when it comes to police officers and attacks, we just want to assure the community that we are here for the community, we are here to serve no matter what they see on television,” Braunskill explained.

Earlier this week, officers visited several neighborhoods for “National Night Out” where they held block parties and shared special moments with residents.

Chief Orlando Rolon even held a virtual panel with several high school students who had questions about what it’s like to be a police officer.

“When you have the overwhelming support of the community, it makes a lot easier,” Rolon said.

Orlando Police Department will be hosting “Orlando Praise in the Frontyard” Marquee event at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center on Friday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m.

The event is free for anyone who wants to join.

Officers will also hold a Faith and Blue Shred Event at the Orlando Police Headquarters on Saturday at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!