By Derrick James
McALESTER, Okla. — Law enforcement and first responders from across the county gathered with members of the public Saturday to pray for a McAlester officer who was fighting for his life at a Tulsa hospital.
“People want to be negative about who we are in McAlester and focus on what’s bad,” Terren Anderson, pastor of Life Church in McAlester, said during a prayer service held Saturday.
“This is everything that’s beautiful about this community, right here today,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t matter who we are, it doesn’t matter our background, it doesn’t matter our skin color. We are family.”
About 100 people gathered in front of the McAlester Police Department to pray for MPD Patrolman Joseph Barlow, who is in critical condition at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa after a head-on collision Friday in Glenpool.
The vigil began at 13.14 and coincided with Barlow’s badge number, 114.
Anderson asked the crowd to lift up the Barlow family along with the family of MPD Capt. Richard Parker, who died at his home Thursday.
Barlow and other MPD officers traveled to Tulsa on Friday to escort Parker from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home in Wetumka.
In a statement released by the Glenpool Police Department, officers were notified around 6:27 p.m. Friday, March 17, about a head-on collision on Highway 75 just north of 151st St. South.
Glenpool PD said a black Ford F-250 truck driven by Martin Rodriguez with a passenger failed to stop for the procession and took evasive action to avoid colliding with a stopped vehicle.
According to the affidavit, the truck then crossed the median and hit the McAlester Police vehicle head-on.
Barlow had to be pulled from his patrol unit and taken by ambulance to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.
“The report is that he needs a miracle,” Anderson told the crowd. “The doctors have done what they can do. Now it’s up to God and it’s up to Joseph.”
According to Anderson, the prayer was streamed live to Barlow’s hospital room in Tulsa so the officer would be able to hear the prayers and support from the community.
“Lord, we know that medicine has done what medicine can do. But God, we know that you can do what seems impossible,” Anderson said. “And we pray Lord that you will make the impossible a possibility.
“You have our city in your hands and we ask Lord for good news today.”
A fund has been set up to help Barlow’s family at First National Bank in McAlester. For questions about how to donate, contact the McAlester Police Department at 918-423-1212.
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