Police training, racial profiling and minority officers were among topics that emerged in a community forum on race relations Monday night at Good Shepherd Church in Hopkinsville.
Pastor Jackie Shannon organized the event in an effort to find unity in the wake of incidents of police brutality and racial tension across the nation.
Police Chief Clayton Sumner was one of the panelists. He assured he would investigate any issues regarding racial profiling and says the department is working to recruit more minority officers.
“People are more apt to relate more with people who look like them at times and when your department, in this case, reflects the demographics in your community I think it helps us understand one another better, it helps us talk to one another,” says Sumner.
Mayor Carter Hendricks, also on the panel, said pastors and community members must both work towards building relationships and trust.
Pastor Shannon says he didn't expect the crowd's turnout to be as great as it was.
"We didn't talk about the situation, we didn't talk to the situation, but we talked in honesty. We were open ... I think people were genuine and I'm looking for the division to stop," says Shannon.
The Good Shepherd Children's Church rendered a selection of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
Citizens expressed gratitude to local law enforcement and city leaders.
The event concluded with everyone joining hands in prayer for the city.