Archbishop Elpidophoros of America visited the New York Police Department’s 19th Precinct station in the Upper East Side of Manhattan — the neighborhood of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese — on Thursday.
The archbishop spoke with NYPD officers including Captain Kathleen Walsh, Stephan Koustoubardis, Irene Prentzas and Panagiotis Koutsoudilakis.
Archbishop Elpidophoros had planned to make the visit for some time, especially because of his commitment to the NYPD St. Paul’s Society, a fraternal organization with charitable, religious and community activities and whose members include Greek American and Eastern Orthodox officers from federal, state and local police agencies.
“I know that 2020 has been a particularly difficult year for us all, and especially for you essential public servants,” the archbishop said during his visit. “I want you to know that you are in my prayers and in my heart, as you continue to strive to serve the public good and the good people of the City of New York with professionalism, compassion and empathy.
The archbishop’s visit comes approximately one month after he marched alongside protestors during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Brooklyn. The demonstration happened in response to the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Elpidophoros’ visit also comes amid national tensions regarding police brutality and civil rights, which have largely been brought to the forefront of American society by Floyd’s death.
“You are often put on the line and I want you to know that as your fellow-citizen and as a religious leader in our city, you are not forgotten,” the archbishop told officers during his visit.
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