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Faith leader, mental health professionals offer support to grieving law enforcement

Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans
Posted at 10:49 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 23:59:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The support from the community means a lot to law enforcement during a difficult time following the passing of a young Independence police officer.

Pastor Darron Edwards at United Believers Community Church bridges the community and law enforcement, who are now turning to him following the death of Blaize Madrid-Evans.

"He knew his purpose and he served his purpose in the most valiant way," Edwards said.

Officers started calling Edwards for prayer and support shortly after the deadly shooting.

"I often try to remind them of the service that they bring to try and keep our communities safe, and they try to remind you of their value, you know, their humanity, that they're not robots, that it is okay to feel pain, it is okay to hurt," Edwards said.

Trauma experts agree.

"It's totally normal, whatever you're experiencing, there's no right or wrong way to feel," said Penny Monetti, a trauma therapist.

Monetti is one of the more than 30 behavioral health professionals who've teamed up to work specifically with first responders in Missouri.

"They're telling me how overworked they are, how they're shorthanded," Monetti said.

Monetti believes the passing of officer Madrid-Evans will impact his colleagues and other law enforcement personnel in a variety of ways, but there's one coping mechanism that will be crucial.

"Talking about what you're going through is going to be monumental at this point," Monetti said. "Finding friends that, in common with you, that you feel comfortable, that are going through the same types of things."

She adds that support from the community toward law enforcement can also go a long way, a sentiment Edwards echoes.

"And that we really can come together and rally together to bring hope and healing to the tragic situation that's happened," Edwards said.

Anyone in need of support can access a list of resources below.