A church in Bay County, Florida, is looking to support local law enforcement by offering a space for police officers to relax and take a break from their stressful jobs.
The Fellowship Baptist Church in Panama City recently decided to convert an old storage room into a quiet space for officers so they can take a break, catch up on reports, eat and relax.
Tyler Bro, the senior pastor at the church, expressed the church’s gratitude toward the officers who put their lives on the line every day.
“We support them and what they do, and we know that they lay their lives on the line each and every day,” the pastor said. “We just wanted to be a blessing for them.”
Panama City Police Lieutenant Jared Hicks was thankful for the church’s assistance. He said officers could use a place to manage stress.
“Sometimes, you just need that break, you know. You deal with stuff all day long, and sometimes, you need that five minutes away so you can collect your thoughts and go back to doing what you need to do,” he said.
The church will provide officers with a code to access the room, which will be available 24/7.
Hicks said the location will also save the officers time as they can respond to nearby incidents instead of having to first drive back to the station.
As Hicks explained: “We will use it pretty regularly because if the officer has his own lunch, they can come up here and sit and try to not eat in their car. They don’t have to go back to the station, which is on the other side of town. They would also be in a position where they can respond to something which is right around the corner.”
The room will also have Wi-Fi and snacks available. The church hopes to show its support and appreciation for local law enforcement officers by recognizing them as heroes and individuals who love people and want to help the community.
“I think they need to be recognized as heroes really and individuals who love people and want to help the community. So, I think that is important,” Bro stated.