The Los Angeles Police Department, local churches, and scores of community partners joined forces in an afternoon and evening of camaraderie and fun for Hollywood’s Faith and Blue Festival 2023.
After last year’s award-winning Faith and Blue Weekend event, Hollywood ramped it up with a celebration that brought police-community collaboration to an entirely new level for 2023. This year’s festival was organized by the LAPD Hollywood Division and their Hollywood Clergy Council including the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, the Salvation Army, St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Blessed Sacrament Church, Monastery of the Angels, Higher Praise Church, St. Stephen Episcopal Church, Oasis Church, Hollywood United Methodist Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sikh Temple of Hollywood, Vedanta Society, and the Church of Scientology.
The L.A. Fire Department, NFL Players Association, and some 70 local businesses also joined in the partnership.
In the aftermath of the 2020 George Floyd protests, Rev. Markel Hutchins, CEO of the Atlanta-based MovementForward nonprofit, conceived of and launched Faith and Blue Weekend as a way “to build bridges between cops and communities…to reduce crime in local communities and build mutual respect between officers and residents.” And this year’s event in Hollywood certainly accomplished that purpose.
“This festival was testimony to what we can accomplish when we join forces to create something special for the community as a whole,” said Rev. Olivia McDuff, Public Affairs Officer of the Church of Scientology International. “The LAPD Hollywood Clergy Council is a powerful voice for this community, and we are proud to be bringing Hollywood together for the benefit of all.”
The afternoon began with a prayer by the Very Reverend Canon Ian Elliot Davies, Rector of Saint Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Hollywood, followed by a proclamation from California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo. The National Anthem was performed by LAPD Officer Tim Talman.
Entertainment included gospel and R&B singers, salsa dancing and the Presbyterian Comedians. The event space was packed all afternoon, with people of all ages enjoying the fun.
Food was provided by local businesses including Pink’s Hotdogs, Tommy Burgers, Leo’s Taco Truck tacos, Domino’s pizzas, All Wazir Mediterranean cuisine, All-American softy ice cream, Kettle-Glazed donuts, and pumpkin bread from Monastery of the Angels.
Throughout the day, gifts provided by community partners and local businesses were raffled off including free haircuts at trendy barbershops, backpacks from ABC Mouse, 12 bicycles donated by the LAPD, and the grand prize, an iPad donated by the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition on Hollywood Boulevard.
There was something for everyone, including the perennial favorite “Dunk-a-Cop” game. There were bouncy houses, a bungee house, an obstacle course, pony rides, a petting zoo, carnival games, and a Hollywood-style step-and-repeat for selfies and photo ops.
There was also the chance to climb aboard an LAPD motorbike, meet the horses of the LAPD Mounted Unit, and wave as the police helicopter circled the event space, signaling a noisy greeting to those attending.
At the entrance to the festival, a huge mural extending the entire block illustrates Hollywood working together for the betterment of the community. It was created by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre and its “Hollywood Village” volunteers and it will be a permanent part of the landscape going forward.
The Church of Scientology supports police-community partnerships and works to uplift Hollywood, making it beautiful, safe and clean. Scientology Volunteer Ministers provide one-on-one help in the community and disaster relief in the aftermath of fires, floods, and other natural and manmade disasters.
To learn more about the national Faith and Blue initiative, visit the Faith and Blue website.
To learn more about last year’s award-winning Hollywood Faith and Blue weekend, visit the Scientology website or stop by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre at 5930 Franklin Avenue or the Church of Scientology Los Angeles at 4810 Sunset Boulevard. All are welcome.
The article originally published by Scientology News.