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Several Hundred Citizens Join Law Enforcement for Unity Walk - KOAM TV 7

Several Hundred Citizens Join Law Enforcement for Unity Walk

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

At a time when the nation is tense over shootings by and against law enforcement, 4 state residents come together in a positive expression of respect.

Several hundred citizens walk with law enforcement and each other, uniting despite what's been going on across the nation.

“There’s just no respect for anybody anymore, I just don't see it, the kids growing up, you can't make them mind and it’s just wrong, they've got to have some respect for people," says Joplin resident Bonnie Hardin.

A nation where it is not uncommon for police officers to be shot or to be accused of shooting unarmed people.

“It seems when you watch the news anymore, we're not a very happy place and I thought Joplin is a lot happier than that and we support law enforcement a lot better than that so let’s show it,” says Danny Thomas, General Manager of KOAM-TV.

Forty police vehicles guide the crowd down Main Street, 28 different agencies from the region coming together in a show of solidarity. Some law enforcement officials say unity is necessary in today's culture.

“We need to really express that everyone is important and everyone is out for everyone else and lets support each other,” says Missouri Southern Police Chief Ken Kennedy.

Others say that faith can be a guide in the right direction.

“It feels like the further our culture gets away from the word of God we have more trouble. It seems like if culture lined up clearer to the word of God, it would seem that we would have a different culture around us,” says Jason Kelly, a Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Hearing about the event on the radio prompted a sheriff’s deputy from Texas to stop and join the walk. A wrong turn on a road trip back home from Kansas put him on I-44.

“We felt like we needed to stop and support the local law enforcement. We think it’s awesome what you all are doing here and we want to mirror that down in Texas when we get back home,” says T.A. Lawthorp.

Signs of unity and respect for one another that set the region apart.

“I don't think that the national picture is necessarily represented in the four state area as far as law enforcement goes, most of our communities are behind us 100 percent,” says Fort Scott Police Officer Clint Parsons.

Several area churches helped to plan the unity walk.

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