Group handing out blessed medals to law enforcement in Northeast Ohio

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Video just released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows more gunshots fired at Cleveland police. This comes to light as we’ve found some citizens turning to the heavens to try to protect officers.

A retired police officer and others started a campaign they call Bless the Blue to give officers a blanket of comfort. They will give out hundreds of religious medals to officers facing danger.

This week, at St. Bridget of Kildare in Parma, we saw a priest blessing medals of St. Michael. St. Michael is considered an angel offering protection.

“Through the intercession of St. Michael, the archangel, may they always have your divine protection,” he said. “We pray for the men and women who serve and protect us.”

Rob Slattery helped organize the project with others from Brooklyn.

“We’re gonna go to city council meetings, or however we can, directly to the chiefs of police and deliver these medals,” Slattery said. “We hope that we just, you know, offer some sort of nice warm feeling to protect them… These were blessed.”

This week, Cleveland police released new video to the I-Team with officers under fire on East 139th. Shots rang out as they investigated a burglary. You hear several shots, and then an officer says, “He started shooting at me right by the front driveway.”

Last month, a Cleveland detective was shot and killed in the line of duty. Weeks earlier, an officer was shot and wounded. We’ve seen a growing number of cases of shots fired at officers.

Religious faith plays more of a role in law enforcement than you may realize. The I-Team found a retired Cleveland officer sends out emails with Bible verses to police related to situations they’ll face on the streets. He wrote a book, too. A retired city detective wrote a book about God and police work.

The medals project is just starting and it will focus on law enforcement in Northeast Ohio. But, the people behind it said they’re already getting interest from around the country.

“Some companies have reached out wanting to make donations. We’ll be able to re-up our supply that way,” Slattery said.

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