Church donates $30,000 to help local police force

They usually try to save souls, but now a local church is trying to help save its community from crime.

After six years as senior pastor of the Southern Illinois Worship Center, Jason McKinnies was looking for new ways to help his community.

“I was invited by the Herrin Police Department to do a ride along on a Friday night as they begin to try and change the environment of Herrin,” McKinnies said.

McKinnies says after one of the police cars started smoking while an officer had two people detained, he knew he could help Chief Quinn Laird make a change.

“I had just seen that this officer is putting his life in danger and now he’s worried about his equipment, and the danger this equipment is putting on his life,” McKinnies said.

“The cars that a lot of the guys are driving are 2004 models and in desperate need of replacement,” said Laird.

After hearing that three squad cars needed work done in the span of a week, the church stepped in with a $30,000 donation.

“This is where I live,” McKinnies said. “I’m a part of this community, and I want to see it move in a great direction.”

“Somebody is going to get a new police vehicle out of this,” Laird said. “That’s just a huge thing for the men and women of the Herrin Police Department because they deserve that support.”

Laird says he still has to order the new squad car, but hopes to have it out on patrol sooner rather than later.

McKinnies says the donation was phase one of the Southern Illinois Worship Center’s Operation Giveback, which could give more than $100,000 in donations back to the local community in partnership with other area churches.

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