FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. – On the last day of 2017, five law enforcement officers were shot and one of them was killed by a suspect barricaded inside an apartment complex. Deputy Zackari Parrish was a 29-year-old father of two, and had been a law enforcement officer for just less than three years.

It's because of tragedies like these that Gloria Corn started a monthly prayer circle right here in the Triad. The group prays for all first responders, from those working behind the desk to those out on the front lines.

Nationwide, in 2017, 128 officers died in the line of duty, and of those, 44 of them were shot, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund – a nonprofit that aims to honor those lives lost and improve safety. Those numbers are down 10 percent from 2016, but still Corn says they're much too high.

“That's our biggest group, after a tragedy has happened,” she said, “God really laid it on my heart, we need to be doing this before tragedies happen. I really believe that our prayers are being answered.”

Her mission started back in 2016, after an officer was killed in Houston. She says in her mind, Winston-Salem first responders and those in other parts of the Triad haven't seen as much turmoil, but that doesn't mean prayers aren't needed.

“That's the biggest concern, when we talk to first responders around town, and ask for prayer requests, it's all about safety,” she said, “I have no family and I have no friends involved with the police department, so this is totally a God sponsored event that he's using me to do.”

Again, the group meets every month to pray. Their next meeting will be February 11.