- Faith & Family
In response to the recent rash of violent outbursts in Miami Gardens, Pastor Eric Readon
of New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church announced the creation of a new crime fighting effort at a community prayer vigil on Wednesday, Nov. 30th.
Preachers Against Crimes or P.A.C. will be a partnership between local pastors and the police department, explained Readon.
“I want P.A.C. to stand between the politicians, preachers, and the people,” Readon said. “We’re not going to react, we’re going to act before things happen.”
Captain Eddie Martinez of the Miami Gardens Police Department praised the partnership. “I believe it is an excellent idea,” he explained. “The community are a part of our eyes and ears and together we can make a great difference in the future.”
One of the major functions of the partnership is to change the negative perception that some community members have of the police.
When asked why some people assume the worst about police officers, the 35-year-old Readon explained that the department is often misunderstood.
“People only think that the police show up when things are bad,” he said. But, “[the police] have to do their job, not only do they have to protect us, they have to protect themselves,” he said.
One of the organizations first events was to hold a special service for the families of the people recently killed by gun violence in the community followed by a meal give away planned for New Year’s Eve. “We’re looking to feed the whole community,” he said.
So far, he has approached several area pastors who are on board with the program including Rev. Larrie Lovett of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Carl Johnson of 93rd Street Community Baptist Church; Rev. Gaston Smith of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Johnny Barber of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church; and Reverend Douglas Cook of Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
According to Cook, now is the time for everyone to come together to help lower the violence in the community.
However, much of how exactly the P.A.C. organization will function and interact with the police remains unresolved.
The organization is “still in the embryonic stages of developing, but it will definitely be a powerful organization with integrity,” Readon said.