MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Moultrie pastors and police are joining forces to strengthen relationships between cops and the community.
After three recent shootings that left two people dead, pastors say their church members are worried about crime.
Police officers want to meet with influential leaders in town to explain what they do and why.
In a simulated real-life situation, pastors got a closer look at what police officers experience on a day-to-day basis.
"We wanted them to be able to learn what we do and how we do it," said Moultrie Police Lieutenant Daniel Lindsay. "So when they are approached by individuals with issues about the police department, they can be an advocacy for us to improve our relationship with the community."
The police department hosted a Pastor's Symposium at Southern Regional Technical College to address concerns that local pastors say their members have.
"Deaths, police brutality, and so many other things that really kind of pulls the police department and the community apart instead of together," said Corey McGee, Senior Pastor at Willow Grove Church.
So in an effort to bridge the gap between residents and the police, Lt. Lindsay spent the day explaining the different tactics officers use to combat violent crime, and why.
"To put them in this environment and allow them in a controlled training scenario to be able to see sometimes the worst of the worst is a really good eye-opener for them I believe, and a good education piece for us," Lindsay said.
Education is the department's main goal, as well as sending the message to the community that they are not the enemy.
"We are protected by good people," added McGee. "Not all police officers are bad people. They are some great men and women that are on the force who are good people who want us to understand that they want to protect us.