The Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast happens every year, but this year, it came just one day after a Houston police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty, and another officer is recovering in the hospital.
The 46th annual prayer breakfast was held Tuesday morning. Local leaders like Mayor Sylvester Turner, District Attorney Kim Ogg and HPD Chief Troy Finner took the opportunity to pray for those affected by the deadly shooting.
There were positive moments and some laughs, but the loss the city is feeling was clearly on everyone's minds.
The room at the annual prayer breakfast for the city erupts in applause as everyone stands to offer support and sympathy to the Houston Police Department just one day after losing Senior Officer William Jeffrey. @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/526CdLb7Ng— Brhe Berry ABC13 (@BrheABC13) September 21, 2021
Minutes into the breakfast, the room erupted in applause, offering support for the Houston Police Department, one day after losing one of their own.
Senior Officer William "Bill" Jeffrey's family and Sgt. Michael Vance were also included in the prayers of each person who spoke.
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"We pray especially for Houston Police Department Officer William Jeffrey, who gave his life in serving Houston, and Officer Michael Vance, who was also shot and wounded," one pastor said.
Still reeling from the department's loss and the injury of another, Finner said the event was a shot of hope, remembering Jeffrey, who graduated from the academy just a few months after him.
"I just remember this guy, and even just shy of 31 years, him just charging and being the front, always wanting to be out in the front, always wanting to lead," Finner said. "A hell of a police officer. And just like his wife said, we lost the best of the best. And like I said, we're going to continue to celebrate (him), and I'm proud of that. I'm proud of his service."
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Turner asked those gathered to keep both officers in their prayers, and then took a minute to share a very passionate plea for judges to be more accountable when it comes to repeat offenders.
"And judges cannot ignore what is happening out in the real world," Turner said. "The very fact that this particular person was out and had violated the rules, is unacceptable. Everybody has to wake up."
The funeral plans for Jeffrey are still pending. He leaves behind a wife and daughter.
ANNUAL PRAYER BREAKFAST FOR THE CITY:— Brhe Berry ABC13 (@BrheABC13) September 21, 2021
It’s an event that happens every year but this year it will happen one day after an HPD officer was shot and killed in the line of duty and another is in the hospital. No doubt they will be included in everyone’s thoughts today. pic.twitter.com/cRV5VPM7CA
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