WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Dale Sutherland spent nearly three decades as a member of the Metro Police Department in Washington, D.C., spending several years undercover.

“We did a lot of undercover work to get assault weapons off the streets,” he said.

Sutherland was also known as the “undercover pastor.” He helped people in his ministry while dealing with dangerous criminals.

“In the morning, I would be out at church and in the evening I would be on the streets,” said Suthlerland, “Sometimes people from church would call me when I was in the middle of a drug buy.”

Sutherland started the non-profit Code 3 after the riots at Ferguson in Missouri where the goal is to improve relationships between police and residents.

Code 3 is made up of retired police officer and ex-offenders. Sutherland says they concentrate on helping ex-offenders stay on the right path and out of prison.

“They help us and we help them,” Sutherland said. “They plan a big part in helping build relationships with community members.”

Code 3 also connects with children and Sutherland says they are seeing positive results among kids and adults.

“It’s not always smooth and perfect,” he said. “There are challenges, even among young people who are initially scared of the police, but after weeks and months of interaction, many want to become officers and serve in their neighborhoods.”