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Prayer ceremony held in support of police

Community members showed support for police in Weirton. (WTOV)

In the wake of the recent deadly shootings involving police officers, a prayer ceremony was held in Weirton Sunday afternoon.

The afternoon of prayer was scheduled long before the police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but the tragedy weighed heavily on the minds of the Weirton community.

With such unrest in the United States between communities and their law enforcement, the city of Weirton came together in love.

"We need God to intervene in our nation with all of the violence, all of the lawlessness. We're here to partner with God and to thank and bless our local police,” said Jennie Newbrough, organizer.

The ceremony included singing and group prayer. The Weirton police department came out to receive the support. In the crowd were people of all ages and local city officials.

"I think everyone needs to reflect back and as I've said commonly, give our officers a big hug,” Travis Blosser, city manager, said.

"My heart breaks anymore for what happens in this country. This community is phenomenal. Every time something comes up on the news, Dallas, Baton Rouge, all of these different places where there's a shooting, this community explodes,” Police Chief Rob Alexander said.

While Weirton is ranked as one of the safest cities in West Virginia, its police department isn't taking any chances.

"Baton Rouge is far away, but if it starts getting closer, we'll do what we gotta do,” Alexander said. "We're doing everything in our power to keep me, my guys and this whole entire community safe."

Chief Alexander said the Weirton police have a pastoral ride-along program wherein local pastors visit and ride with officers. He said this and the bond his community has with police gives him hope during these difficult times.

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