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KCPD chaplain team offers support to officers after Sunday's shootings

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 19:42:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two of the three police officers injured in a weekend shooting remained in stable condition on Tuesday as they recovered at the hospital from their injuries.

The third officer injured in the Sunday shooting was sent home from the hospital on Monday and continues to recover at his home.

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The violence brought tense moments for those close to the officers and the police department, including chaplain Kevin Hardy.

Hardy has been a chaplain on the force for just two months, after serving in Grandview in the same position for the last 10 years, and was thrust into action over the weekend.

“I arrived approximately 15 to 20 minutes after the first officers were brought in,” he explained. “When I first walked in, the first thing I did was observe. There were people standing around, there were people moving.”

On Tuesday, Hardy described to 41 Action News seeing the groups of family members, friends, and fellow officers gathering at the hospital waiting for updates on the injured policemen.

“We ended up congregating in one area so that the emergency workers could work and there was still a place to talk and a place to process,” he explained. “I just made myself known and went to each of the officers and introduced myself.”

Hardy spoke to the injured officers as they were receiving treatment.

He told 41 Action News that one of the officers, who is Catholic, asked for a priest to come to the hospital.

“I just asked what his faith base was and he told me,” he explained. “We have a Catholic priest as one of our chaplains so I contacted him.’”

Hardy serves as the head chaplain for KCPD, helping to oversee six other volunteers.

He said the chaplain team has also been spending time at police stations this week offering support for officers who may need it.

“We want to just be available to them,” he explained. “We want to offer them encouragement and offer them hope.”

Around Kansas City, signs of support continue to be seen this week.

The Waldo Tower was lit up in “Thin Blue Line” colors on Monday night and was expected to have the same display Tuesday night.

Similar displays are also planned for Union Station, the Meyer Circle Fountain on Ward Parkway, and parts of the skyline.

City Councilman Scott Taylor told 41 Action News he helped spearhead the effort to honor the officers.

“I just picked up the phone and thought it was a good idea to rally and show support,” he explained. “It really sends a great message that in Kansas City, we really care and we pull together as a community when things like this happen.”

Moving forward, Pastor Hardy hoped the support would help the officers recover.

“We want to be available to them,” he explained. “We want to offer them encouragement and hope.”