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Edmond residents pray for police officers, racial unity

EDMOND — Kelly Dudley wasn't the only person who became emotional Monday during a community prayer service outside the Edmond Police Department, where nearly 100 people asked for the safety of police officers here and everywhere.

Adults and children wiped away tears as people prayed for everyone, regardless of skin color, to be seen as children of God.

Edmond Police Chaplain Jon Cook took Dudley's hand to offer comfort during the prayers.

It is time for a change from racial unrest, Dudley said.

“We, as African-Americans, can't continue to be angry,” Dudley said. “If we do, the situation will continue. There will continue to be riots and vandalism. We couldn't say it any better than it was said here today.”

The idea for a community prayer service was created at the kitchen table of Jake and Becky Marple, members of Waterloo Road Baptist Church.

“We had just listened to the mayor of Dallas on Saturday morning,” Jake Marple said. “I said we have got to get together to pray. My wife said she was about to say they same thing.”

The Dallas mayor was responding to the deaths of five law enforcement officers in a sniper attack at a Black Lives Matter rally on Thursday in that city.

The Marples' idea, spread on social media, created a gathering that was more than Jake Marple said he could have
envisioned.

“We wanted to pray for the police officers,” Jake Marple said. “We wanted to make the police officers feel like they were
supported.”

Support for police officers is not new in Edmond. But after the Dallas police officer shootings, support has increased.

Cook said that shortly after the Dallas shootings, business leaders went to the police department with sugar cookies decorated with white icing and blue hearts.

“And that (was) followed with the pizza and followed with doughnuts,” Cook said. “That is just an example of our community. We are a city of great faith.”

Police Chief Bob Ricks called the community prayer service a good start.

“We will come together and realize we are all one,” Ricks said. “We all are citizens of not only this country, but we are all children of God.

“I think this is a good start,” Ricks said. “We come together to lift up the Lord and give thanks for what He has given us and ask for His mercy and blessings upon the men and women of the Edmond Police Department, but also the men and women of Edmond and the men and women of this
country.”

Related Photos
<p>Kelly Dudley, left, is comforted by a woman who joined nearly 100 others Monday morning outside the Edmond Police Department to pray for the safety of the officers and peace across the nation. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman]</p>

Kelly Dudley, left, is comforted by a woman who joined nearly 100 others Monday morning outside the Edmond Police Department to pray for the safety of the officers and peace across the nation. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9becb6cf434c0d12d6d0dcdf2dad38fd.jpg" alt="Photo - Kelly Dudley, left, is comforted by a woman who joined nearly 100 others Monday morning outside the Edmond Police Department to pray for the safety of the officers and peace across the nation. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman] " title=" Kelly Dudley, left, is comforted by a woman who joined nearly 100 others Monday morning outside the Edmond Police Department to pray for the safety of the officers and peace across the nation. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Kelly Dudley, left, is comforted by a woman who joined nearly 100 others Monday morning outside the Edmond Police Department to pray for the safety of the officers and peace across the nation. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4edc5fce85a660859e27d911967a04f9.jpg" alt="Photo - Organizers Jake and Becky Marple, left, stand among nearly 100 people who gathered outside the Edmond Police Department Monday to pray for police officers in Edmond and everywhere. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman] " title=" Organizers Jake and Becky Marple, left, stand among nearly 100 people who gathered outside the Edmond Police Department Monday to pray for police officers in Edmond and everywhere. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Organizers Jake and Becky Marple, left, stand among nearly 100 people who gathered outside the Edmond Police Department Monday to pray for police officers in Edmond and everywhere. [Photo by Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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