A small group of people bowed their heads with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday evening.
Sitting on blue chairs, the MCSO Citizens Academy alumni gathered with miniature American flags, posters, and children to show support for law enforcement at the Criminal Justice #1 flag pole in Conroe.
“Law enforcement around the United States need all the prayer and support they can get,” said former executive board member and current Academy member Debby Toombs. “Their job is never easy. They have split decisions to make in seconds. It’s an honor to give this type of support.”
Miss South Central Regency International Courtney Williams helped make signs.
“With recent events it seemed like the perfect time to come show support,” Williams said.
MCSO Chaplain Mike Evans led the group prayer after highlighting a moment where a small child asked him why he had a black band on his badge.
The child’s sibling replied, “it’s because he lost his friends in Dallas,” referring to the shooting that killed 5 officers after a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.
“That’s how I know people understand,” Evans said before leading the crowd in prayer and thanking God for a community that supports law enforcement.
The deaths of the officers killed in Dallas and in a Bellaire motorcycle accident “hit home,” Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Gage said to the crowd.
Gage started out in law enforcement in Houston in 1970.
Not only has he faced the risks associated with the job, he also experienced the loss of his partner, Winston J. Rollins, who was killed in a motorcycle accident off of Texas 225.
That same night, another officer, Ed Deleon, was killed on his motorcycle in a drunk driving accident when he was hit by an 18-wheeler.
He expressed gratitude for God, who he prays to for wisdom to make the right decisions, and the alumni for “stepping it up.”
“Y’all will just never know how much we appreciate that (prayer and support),” Gage told the crowd. “I thank you for coming out on this ol’ hot July day and taking care of the Sheriff’s office.”
Conroe resident David Hooper and his brother Terrell Hooper also attended the event. They are the grandsons of former Montgomery County Sheriff Guy Hooper, whom David Hooper said served in the 1930’s.
“I think he would be heavy over all the recent tragedies,” David Hooper said. “But I think he’d be quite grateful for the community’s support.”
Senior Sgt. Michael Page and Detention Officer Jeremy Johnson also said they enjoyed the positive interaction with the alumni and community who were there for the same purpose, regardless of race or economic status.
Whether an officer is guarding in the jail or patrolling the streets, Page said officers just want to stress, “we’re not here to hurt and kill, we’re here to protect.”
Press Release: Courier