By Michael Henrich
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 5, 2014) -- Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Rick Hite holds high hopes for Friday's Day of Unity celebration on Monument Circle.
The Indianapolis landmark will host the event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hite told FOX59 the good in the Indianapolis community must be highlighted.
"We don't talk about it enough," Hite said. "We hear about the things that happen in our community that are considered bad, but let’s talk about what’s good. Here’s an opportunity to do just that."
The Day of Unity, which Hite hopes will be followed by an entire month's worth of similar events in September, was inspired by Lynn Renn, the widow of fallen Officer Perry Renn. Officer Renn was killed in the line of duty two months ago.
"[Lynn Renn] reached out to FOP and us and what happened, in a situation like this, as humble as she is, she thought about not only [Officer Renn], but all the other families. She really didn't want to make it all about Perry," Hite said. "She wanted to send a message that, as a community of care, we need to talk about how the police and community spend time together. [She] just wanted a day of recognition for all those who put their lives on the line."
Renn wrote a letter posted on IMPD's Facebook page in support of the Day of Unity:
The Indianapolis Day of Unity is a wonderful opportunity for the people of our community and our police officers to come together, to create mutual respect and to appreciate one another. It can be very easy to lose the momentum of positive progress in the community when concentrating on negativity of the past. Our citizens build our city while our officers protect it. I believe that it is time for both sides to unite as one and work together to make this city a safe and enjoyable place to live. If we are able to build positive relationships between the community and law enforcement now in times of peace, we will be better able to support and lean on each other in times of tragedy.
Hite said he hopes members of the public will come out and stand with IMPD and others at Monument Circle. Many plan on wearing the "I will always get out of my car" and other shirts that have been sold to raise money for officers' needs.
Without good communication and taking time to celebrate the positive moments, Hite said officers would not be able to protect the public as well as they do.
"We could not do this without the support of community," the chief said.
September is a difficult month for members of the law enforcement community. Last year, IMPD Officer Rod Bradway also lost his life in the line of duty. Bradway was shot and killed while saving a woman and her young child from a gunman.