Desert Hot Springs, CA
Word of Life Fellowship Center in Desert Hot Springs will hold a community forum on relations between residents and law enforcement Monday night.
The meeting will give residents of Desert Hot Springs a chance to voice any concerns and ask any questions they may have with regards to law enforcement.
Conversely, the forum will give the Desert Hot Springs Police Department an opportunity to better learn the community which they serve.
"We’re going to create a healthy dialogue with each other. Build ways to tear down that wall of misconceptions between the community and the police," said Kephyan Sheppard, pastor at Word of Life Fellowship Center.
"We are tired of all of the anger and the misunderstandings, the frustrations, of the community of the police officers, so we’ve decided to bring everybody together in one place, so we can hear what’s on each others hearts," said Tricina Sheppard, wife to Pastor Kephyan and administrator of the church.
After the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Dallas and San Diego, in addition to the shooting of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, Sheppard says now is the time for conversation.
"I think dialogue has to happen, I said before, there’s been a lot of finger pointing and accusations but there hasn’t been any meaningful dialogue. And that dialogue will help us understand that not every officer thinks the same way, not every citizen think the same way as well," Sheppard said.
As a man of Christian faith, Sheppard said he believes one thing can and will conquer all.
"Because we are Christians, our bible commands us to love everybody. I think love is the most simplistic form of relationship there is…and if we can look at everyone as an individual that deserves love, we can kill a lot of this stuff even before a dialogue happens," said Sheppard.