Community hosts prayer rally in support of police chief in criti - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Community hosts prayer rally in support of police chief in critical condition


On Wednesday, more than 100 people attended a prayer rally at the Lucille Williams Pavilion in support of Marlin Police Chief Darrell Allen.

Allen remains in critical condition after he was shot in the head on Sunday morning. He was working an off-duty security job in Temple when he was wounded. The suspect in this case, Derrick Wayne Gamble, remained in the Bell County Jail as of Wednesday night.

Rev. George “Slugger” Stricklin who organized the prayer rally said it was important to be there for a man who has been there for them.

"The chief, he's done so much for this community, so it's only right for us to come together out of support and offer our prayers to God for his healing and on behalf of his family,” said Stricklin.

The prayer rally had originally been schedule for Monday Nov. 9 but Stricklin said he was advised the family members needed the community's immediate support. He expedited the vigil and rallied people together within 24 hours.

Falls County emergency personnel, law enforcement agencies and county officials stood in support of Chief Allen at the prayer vigil. Many of them were wearing blue ribbons with stars in them that were donated by a resident.

Acting Police Chief Damien Eaglin referred to Allen, as a friend, and as someone who would put his life on the line to protect any Texas resident.

He described Allen as being a fair person who taught officers to be fair, respectable and honorable when facing difficult situations.

Eaglin said the turnout on Wednesday reflects what Allen means to the community.

"What this shows is that he isn’t just an individual that people know. He is an individual who people love. You can see the amount of people who showed up in support of  chief Darrell Allen and that are what we were trying to accomplish,” said Eaglin.

Mayor Elizabeth Nelson also praised the job Allen has done as chief and encouraged everyone to keep praying for him.

During the rally, local pastors also prayed for law enforcement, the community and the school district, which is at risk of closing in July.

Joni Barganier, a life-long Marlin resident who attended the event said the turnout at the event is a blessing.

"This was just such a wonderful show of support for each other and support for our community because we do struggle, but we're coming together,” said Barganier.

Barganier who knows Allen said he is an asset and a blessing to the community.

The community has also come together to pay for the travel expenses of two of Allen’s family members who live out of state. As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Marlin City Secretary had collected $1,115.72, which will pay for their travel expenses.

If you would like to help Allen and his family with additional expenses, you can donate at the Members Credit Union in Marlin, Waco, and Lacy Lakeview.

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