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Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday passed a proclamation making May Shield-A-Badge With Prayer Awareness Month.

Started more than two decades ago by Rev. Michael Taylor, Shield-A-Badge With Prayer is a yearlong program that rallies community support for law enforcement and other public servants through prayer and tokens of appreciation.

Entering its 26th year, the Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program pairs a law enforcement officer — whether they be a sheriff’s deputy, police officer or highway patrolman — with a volunteer or group of volunteers who prays for them everyday over the course of a year. In the past, volunteers have sent officers thank you notes, birthday cards and gift baskets.

Taylor started the program after noticing a need to protect those who often put themselves in harm’s way while working to protect the community. Taylor, a military veteran, serves as chaplain for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.

In recent years, Taylor has expanded the program statewide to include 911 telecommunicators, probation officers, animal control officers, fire departments, clerk of court employees, magistrates, judges and lawyers.

Taylor collects donations for the ministry that he uses to buy small gifts for officers, including Bibles, pens, utility knives and other memorabilia featuring the program’s logo that he designed himself.

Those who wish to donate or participate in the program can reach Taylor at 704-782-7201 or submit their name or send memorial gifts to Shield a Badge With Prayer, Chaplain Michael Taylor, 2675 Phaniels Church Road, Rockwell, NC 28138.

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