SPD shows gratitude for church that served as command post

ROME, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – It has now been three weeks since Syracuse Police Officer Jensen and Onondaga County Lieutenant Hoosock were killed in the line of duty on Sunday, April 14.

Today, May 5, those who helped the Syracuse Police Department during a time of grief and planning were honored.

It was an intimidating undertaking that was pulled off seamlessly.

“Every commander has a specific role, whether it’s motorcycles, the car escort, even logistics. Here was one commander that was just in charge of making sure everybody was getting food and drinking, so that people didn’t pass out because they were working extremely long hours trying to get this done,” Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile said.

Every detail required excellent precision and to plan properly, they needed a home base.

“The church exists to help and serve the community, and this was just a way to do that. I know when they walked in here they were like, ‘Is there anywhere we shouldn’t go or anything sacred?’ Like no, use the building like it’s your home,” Bryce Baldwin, Lead Pastor at Rome Alliance Church, said.

The Rome Alliance Church was the command post for Syracuse Police while they meticulously planned Officer Jensen’s services.

“They stepped in and really made us feel at home and met our every single need and provided us with food, everything that we could possibly ask for. So when I think of a command post and where we needed to set it up, this place was absolutely ideal,” Sergeant Thomas Blake said.

From whiteboards to conference rooms, to just a lot of space, the church was of great service, and that wasn’t forgotten.

The Syracuse Police Department showed their thanks to the church that didn’t ask for any.

“We were faced with this daunting task and quite frankly, if we didn’t find this church, we were going to be doing it out of the back of our SUVs in the rain with maps getting wet and everything else,” Chief Cecile said.

All to give the most utmost farewell.

“I think we were successful in that goal of being able to give a heroes sendoff in the way that we were,” Sergeant Blake said.

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