CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - For more than a week Charlotte has witnessed the anger between police and the black community. Most said the way to decrease the anger and increase understanding is by getting the two sides together.
Some say the heart and soul of any community can be found in the local church. At the Word of Promise in the Oakview Terrace neighborhood the Holy Spirit has drawn CMPD Officers Lakia Monroe and Lt. Robert Spence Cochran of the Metro Division to spread their gospel.
"Officers are people just like us, and we have families just like any other person," Officer Monroe said.
"We have fun, we laugh, we eat, we play basketball. That's the enjoyment of it. That's the side we see a lot," Lt. Cochran said.
Here "protect and serve" takes on a whole new meaning - food being brought in by church members is open to any and all - and can break down all barriers.
The Dream Academy meets every Tuesday where kids of all ages play, sing and dance - and dream. Pastors preach while the officers mentor.
"It's the teachable moments that are the most special and rewarding," Lt. Cochran said.
Officer Monroe said at first, one cute little girl didn't want anything to do with her.
"She was afraid of the police when I first met her. She came up to me but she was a little reluctant to talk to me at first but she sat of my lap I talked to her. Today, when I came she remembered me from last week. She just came right up to me for me to pick her up," Officer Monroe said.
The officers of the Metro Division know the bonds they make here are getting results, that crime may be prevented later, or possibly a live even saved.
"I'm able to talk to them. I think its getting results especially with the kids because that's where you have to start because that's where they get the perception of police and they're not scared of us," Officer Monroe said.