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Northland church strives to help first responders

Posted at 5:22 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 19:29:09-05

LIBERTY, Mo. — On Friday, tragedy struck the Kansas City Police Department when one of their own shot himself in the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church parking lot.

While the officer was not a member of the church, the congregation has a special group of people just for those who wear the badge.

"They are all from all over: Kansas Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Department, sometimes we have airport police," Tim Overby, pastor of ministries at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, said of the church's special outreach.

These men and women came together because they know each others struggles.

"First responders see things the rest of us don't see," Overby said, adding that they have to be able to those process those things as it deals with their emotions, relationships and spirituality.

The group started to meet a few years ago. It's a small family of less than 10 law enforcement members.

Overby said it's hard for them to open up to just anyone, but others in their field just get it.

"They see brokenness in families and difficulties in parts of the community at a level we don't often see in terms of victims and the real cost of crime," he said.

He hopes people learning about last Friday's incident knows there's hope.

"Part of what all of them admit is that they have to process what it is that they encounter on a day-to-day basis with their job," said Overby. "So they do that and they have that support system with them, they know they have enough in the gas tank to be able to go in the next day."

The identity of the officer has not been released.

If you or somebody you know is in crisis, call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.