Vigil challenges community to stand by officers
A blue light prayer vigil was held Wednesday for a fallen IMPD officer and everyone who wears a badge.
Citizens showed support for police during the difficult time following the fatal shooting of Ofc. Perry Renn Saturday night. Hundreds packed the FOP Lodge at Fountain Square, including officers and their families and the community.
Police thanked citizens and challenged them, too.
"This is a very wonderful show of support," FOP President Bill Owensby told mourners at the vigil for Officer Renn.
"Hearts that are grieving, hearts that are in pain, hearts that are bewildered," said pastor Dr. Bonnie Sparks.
"We are saying goodbye to one of our bravest and most courageous and finest officers in Indianapolis," pastor Christopher Holland told those at the vigil. "If we do not stand up and say, 'We are done with this kind of mentality, this kind of heart, this kind of evil,' then evil believes that you are here to serve them and they will absolutely do their best to ransack your life."
Holland helped raise funds to provide trauma kits for IMPD squad cars.
"Officer Renn heroically got out of his car that night," FOP Vice President Rick Snyder told a crowd that chanted "yes" and "amen" to that statement. "Because many of our neighbors, our citizens aren't willing to come out of their doors at night to help stand this line."
He was talking about the "Thin Blue Line" - the only thing standing between citizens and evil, he said.
Snyder and others fear the public will lose its sense of connection with police in the aftermath of the officer's murder. He challenged the community to help officers by reporting crimes and cooperating in investigations and help officers get the resources they need to do their job protecting citizens.
"You and I have to help his life stand for something," said Holland.
Members of the police family and community stood together with blue glow sticks - supporting one another to recorded bagpipes playing "Amazing Grace."