BAXTER SPRINGS, Kans. — Several police departments in Southeast Kansas participate in a nationwide event meant to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they protect.

The event is called “Faith and Blue.”

It began in 2020, following several high profile incidents across the United States, where residents of many cities called for the defunding or dismantling of their current policing system.

Out of that unrest, “Faith and Blue” was born, where law enforcement and faith-based leaders come together to unite the community with those who serve and protect.

That’s exactly what took place in Baxter Springs this evening, where a free cookout was held in Kiwanis Park for area residents and several police departments from Cherokee County.

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Baxter Springs Police Chief, Brian Henderson was among the crowd and says a good relationship between a community and their police department, centers around mutual respect.

“It’s important for us to be here as officers but also to show the human side of the badge. To show that we are humans, that we also make mistakes sometimes, sometimes we don’t do everything just right. But for us to own that and now to have people that would support us and go, ‘you know what, I know that person, I know them personally,’ and to be able to do that and have that support, it’s great.” said Chief Henderson.

More than 100 residents from Southeast Kansas showed up to the cookout, which wraps up a week of events centered around positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.