I wanted to take a moment and publicly thank the officers, leadership and staff of the Lakeland Police Department. For the past ten months we have become close to many of the officers and have observed the work they do. It is no secret that Impact! Church is in one of the most impoverished and crime-riddled areas of Polk County. As a result we get to see the work of the Lakeland Police Department up close and personal. We have come to respect and value our city’s officers as law enforcement agents – and as people. Even in some of the toughest situations, I have seen them handle people with grace and dignity. I have watched them hold a battered woman as she sobbed uncontrollably. I have observed them giving water to a drunk man that passed out in the sun. I have marveled at the way they diffused a potentially volatile domestic situation. I have experienced their life-saving measures when my own health failed me. Most of all I have seen them protect and serve our community with a level of professionalism that Lakeland can be proud of. They are quick to respond, fearless in the face of overwhelming odds and compassionate in their execution of the job. At Impact! Church the Lakeland Police Department are not only our friends, but also a partner in our mission to the Parker Street neighborhood. We pray for them daily and are grateful to God for them.