Griffith: Latest Pray 4 Police march and prayer at City Hall further unites Houston community with its law enforcement

Tom Kennedy

Once again Let’s Pray Texas apparently succeeded in inspiring Houstonians to ask God to keep safe all law enforcement officers.

The Houston Police Officers Union led the crusade to Houston City Hall, where Mayor Sylvester Turner joined dozens of officers, citizens and city leaders on the front steps for prayer.

“One young lady walked up,” HPOU 1st Vice President Doug Griffith said, “and said she just felt led to pray for the officers. She knows the state of affairs of law enforcement throughout the country and how they are portrayed.

“She said to let them know she is praying for them and will keep them in her prayers.”

Griffith, the leader of Let’s Pray Texas, which was observed early in the afternoon of Oct. 19 throughout the state. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted Griffith and the HPOU to let them know they were praying for law enforcement.

Griffith also led the overnight prayer service in the HPOU parking lot in the 1600 block of State Street in the shadows of downtown Houston. It was part of the 24 hours of prayer that began at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18 and wound up the next day as the clergy and HPOU leadership led officers and citizens to the City Hall gathering.

“We had people join us in prayer throughout the night and early morning hours,” Griffith said. “We met with citizens of all ages and races and throughout the entire process gave out another 4,000 Pray 4 Police wrist bands. People got their bands and prayed for officers and the community. And that went on until about 12:30. At that point we walked over to City Hall.

“It was a nice contingent of citizens, officers and clergy. Then we met with several city leaders, including Mayor Turner and Council Members Brenda Stardig, Dwight Boykins and Robert Gallegos.”

Also joining the growing crowd of prayerful Houstonians were Sheriff Ron Hickman and District Attorney Devon Anderson.

Other leaders included Bishop Corey Wilson, HPD Chaplain Monty Montgomery and Officer Berry Curtis, who works with the Police and Clergy Alliance.

Word came as far away as Grapevine in North Texas, where the police led prayer services, and as near as Houston’s neighbor to the southeast, Pasadena. Griffith said HPD and other policing agencies are experiencing a “problem.” They are running out of Pray 4 Police wristbands, which are “on back order.”

The Union vice president said “well in excess of 50,000 wristbands” have been given out to citizens supporting their local law enforcement agencies. “It’s going to take several weeks to get more,” he said. “All the agencies are calling in asking for them.”

In sum, Griffith said, “We believe that this is going to have an impact on our community making our officers safer. That’s answered prayer.”