Dear Sir or Madame,
I write this letter of support for Pastor Rufus Bradley’s, Mission In The City (MITC) Program. It is my personal belief that the MITC program has been the heart of grassroots community rejuvenation in a neighborhood that was once defined by prolific gang violence, narcotics and prostitution. Through the determination and commitment of Pastor Bradley and the many volunteers at MITC, formerly abandoned homes in the neighborhood surrounding New Life Baptist Church have been renovated and restored for use in the community, thereby stabilizing the housing stock and creating safer neighborhoods.
MITC has also created a community park for neighborhood children that is chaperoned by its dedicated staff. This beautiful park also hosts the MITC children’s summer program outdoor activities. It was through Pastor Bradley’s invitation to the Saginaw Police Department to participate in the children’s program that I first met Pastor Bradley and his amazing staff. It was very humbling and personally gratifying to me that I was able to participate in games with the children, answer their questions, let them sit in a police car, pet a police K-9, and talk with the children about whatever they wanted to talk about. Since that first invitation, we continue to participate in the summer program and now we even take the children on tours of the police department.
Involvement with the children in the MITC program was so gratifying to me and other participating officers that it planted the seed of recognition that the Saginaw Police Department needed to be more involved with community youth in a nurturing role. Shortly thereafter, the Saginaw Police Department was successful in obtaining a Project Safe Neighborhoods award through the United States Department of Justice. The Saginaw Police Department seized this opportunity and dedicated the majority of its funding to train and provide School Resource Officers for Saginaw Public Schools, primarily within Thompson Middle School. This on-going program, inspired by the MITC summer children’s program has been successful on many levels but most importantly in mentoring and strengthening relationships with our community youth. These relationships built upon and earned through trust, are the cornerstone of safe and successful neighborhoods. The results are indisputable when you look around the MITC/New Life Baptist Church neighborhood.
Lt. David Kendziorski