It has been a week since Lt. Debra Clayton was shot and killed in the line of duty, but in Polk County, her memory and legacy will live on.
The Orlando police officer was known for her work with children, and her service was not only limited to the official duties. When Clayton was not on the clock working with children and teens in the Orlando area, she made the hour long drive to the Winning of Souls For the Kingdom Church in Auburndale, where she helped mentor of the ministry of youth.
“Debra was the type of person that someone can talk,” said Michon Chunn, who met with Clayton every week during a social gathering for women in ministry.
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Chunn says she and Clayton became fast friends. “She always had a smile on her face, even as they cope with a difficult situation.”
The two bonded over their passion for inspiring and guiding the young members of their church, and in the early stages of the planning of a new youth centre.
“Some of the recreation opportunities we have here in the area, not really a positive environment for young people, so we want to be able to get them in, so they can have a great time and be safe,” said Akisia Quinn, head of youth programming for the church.
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Now, as a tribute to the officer, they knew as Sister Deborah, the ministry plans to dedicate to the youth center to the woman who dedicated her life to improving the lives of young people. The yet-to-be-the building will be named the Debra Clayton Youth Dream Center.
“We are going to teach them the principles of what she was: to Love God, to pursue an education and staying out of trouble,” said Chunn.
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