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  • stars

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  • windermere
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  • I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. - Genesis 9.13
  • Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: who created all these? - Isaiah 40.26
  • Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth? - Acts 7.50
  • He is the God who made the world and everything in it - Acts 17.24
  • From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. - Psalm 113.3
  • The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. - Psalm 19.1
  • In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth - Genesis 1.1
  • He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains - Psalm 95.4
  • It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth - Isaiah 48.13
  • You alone are the Lord. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them - Nehemiah 9.6
  • I made the earth and created man on it - Isaiah 45.12
  • The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth - Isaiah 40.28
  • Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. - Psalm 121.2

True police stories

Police Family Fun Day
- Feedback and Thanks

Steve. Myself and 2 children attended the Family Fun Day on Saturday and I wanted to send you and the volunteers who made the event possible a really big Thank you. Both my husband and I are serving officers and have 2 children now aged 10 and 6. Over the years, due to shift work, our children have undoubtedly missed out on having us around at weekends and evenings. Over the last 3 years I have been lucky enough to be off duty when it is the Family Fun Day and have brought the children along to it. It is now the highlight of the family calendar with the children looking forward to it from the New Year. We attended this year and once again it was absolutely brilliant. The children loved the zip wire and the balance ropes as well as rolling down the slope when the tug of war was on! The volunteers are so helpful, welcoming and cheerful. The grounds are amazing and the activities out of this world. A huge thank you must go to those who must bake cakes for hours on end. On our way out one of the volunteers stopped our car (along with many others!!) and gave the children sweets, which they loved. This person also said 5 little words that I don’t think they will realise were as poignant as they were. “Thanks for all you do” I almost shed a tear, as for once in a very long time I felt valued, I also felt that this acknowledged what my children miss out on (my husband has never been to a fun day as he’s never been rest day) and it left me feeling appreciated. Thank you again and I hope this event continues.

I just wanted to pass on a big thanks on behalf of myself and my family. It’s the 3rd year we have attended the event at Capenwray and each time we have had a fantastic time. The students and staff at Capenwray are an absolute credit and clearly put a great deal of effort in to make the day a special one. We have two young boys who thoroughly enjoy the activities. So much so the youngest was in tears as we left as he realised it would be another year before we could attend again. I’m sure a lot of Officers feel disillusioned in the Police these days. There is so much negativity in the press and media so it is very reassuring to go to an event such as the Family Fun day and realise there are still people out there who appreciate what we do!

Steve, Many thanks for organising the family fun day up at Capenwray. Myself and my family would like to pass on our thanks to all the staff and volunteers who put so much into the event to make sure everybody has a good time. This is the second year we have been. It was so good last year that we recommended to a number of our colleagues to go if they could. From everybody I have spoken to they all had a great time this year. The biggest thing that that I personally take from it, is that there are still quite a few people who respect the Police and go out of their way to make us feel valued and appreciated. For that in particular I am very grateful.

Steve, my family will you pass on our sincerest thanks to all who had any involvement with the family fun day this year. It was outstanding as usual and we had an absolutely brilliant time and all the activities were first class. Our three year old, had a brilliant time and absolutely loved it! Everyone we met was lovely and we really were made to feel special and I cant tell you how much better I felt after going as I have had a tough year at work and to be appreciated really does make a difference. Thank you again to all.

Thank you so much for organising the Family Fun Day last weekend at Capernwray. It is only the second time we have managed to go as I have always been rostered to work on the day. My son is now 12 and he was so excited as as he was 7 last time we went. My daughter is now 6 and was only 1 the last time we went so she doesn’t remember the fun time we had. Unfortunately we only had a couple of hours with you due to problems on the motorway and not setting off on time but nevertheless we crammed a lot in. My daughter enjoyed the archery and the bouncy castle and my son thoroughly enjoyed his hay ride on the tractor with his Mum. Friends commented on how beautifully painted my daughters butterfly face was when I posted the pictures on facebook. Sgt W, no stranger to water, was a good sport on the dunk tank stool. We had already decided when the date was announced, to make a weekend of it, and had booked to stay in Windermere. The young people who were running all the events on the day were so very welcoming, kind, polite and a credit to you and their respective countries across the world. This was commented on by my husband and children also. The ladies in the refectory were run off their feet with the demand for their hot drinks and delicious cakes. Please pass on our thanks to the Churches who very generously donated and baked cakes for the day. I can honestly say Steve, that you and your colleagues and the young people studying at Capernwray are truly blessed, to have such a tranquil place in which to live and study. Thank you very much for putting on such a fabulous day, it was very much appreciated by my family and work family also.

Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the fun day. I’ve been in the Police for 15 years now and I’ve got to say I’ve never felt as appreciated as I did on the day. I was gob smacked by the amount of things there was to do and by the kindness and gratitude shown by the volunteers etc. I took my 6 year old boy and his friend. We had an amazing time whilst there so much to the point I literally had to drag them back to the car. It was a fantastic day with a great atmosphere and I’d be most grateful if you could pass my thanks on to everyone.

Steve , I just wanted to express my thanks and appreciation to you and all your helpers , volunteers etc who put on yet another wonderful day for us on Saturday . The students are a credit to themselves and must be the most polite set of people I have ever met …… what a refreshing change from most of the people we have to deal with in our job ! I hope that you all realize that even though it may look as if everyone who came just took it all for granted I can assure you that it was very much appreciated . I told this to the guys playing music in the hall while we had coffee and cake …… people will go away talking about it all and the wonderful music going on in the background ! I also hope that next year the event is more widely publicised . Too many people don’t know about it . thanks again Steve .

I cannot thank you, your colleagues, the staff, students and volunteers enough for the annual Capenwray police family fun day. It was as usual impeccably organised and simply a great day out. To hear people thanking me as I was leaving after the day you guys had provided was simply fantastic and very humbling. We (my wife and two boys) had a super day even if I did have to prize my seven year old away from all the cake ;0) Thanks again and blessings to you all.

Just wanted to say a massive thank you for another amazing fun day! J, had a great time and wrote in her school diary about human hungry hippos and the zip wire! All the students were so helpful and friendly, a credit to Capernwray Hall.

I attended with my wife Anna who is also a serving police officer and our 2 children ( 3 years old and 10 months old) and met friends there. From the moment we arrived we were welcomed and made to feel special and valued by the volunteers all of whom were more than willing to help with any query big or small. The provision of activities for the children was fantastic and the choice and quantity of cake available for the adults was also excellent. The weather did not spoil any of the outdoor activities which were all run professionally and smoothly by friendly volunteers. It was my first time attending the fun day and it will definitely not be the last. My whole family had an excellent time and I would again like to say thank you to everyone involved in organising it.

It was the first time I took my family and I can’t say enough good things. The teenagers playing and helping with the kids were all fantastic, very patient very chatty. They all had great skills to bring to the day. The ladies behind the counters serving the cakes and brews were all lovely and the cakes were fantastic and even gave us all some to take home. I couldn’t believe the churches around Capenwray had made them all. We only came for a few hours but will make a day off it next time. That’s if my Dad hasn’t retired

I would just like to say that me and my family had a great time at the fun day. The cakes seem to get better every year and there seems to be an endless supply – I know I definitely had my fair share. My children went in a canoe, went swimming, went on the waterslide and the zip wire just to name a few activities that they enjoyed. The only thing we paid for was burger and chips but for the small price of £1 was brilliant – I have 2 lots! All of the volunteers that we spoke with on the day were more than helpful and happy and made every effort to make the day fun for us. We all left feeling like we had been spoilt and my girls are already looking forward to next year’s event. Please pass mine and my families huge thanks on to everyone that made this day possible.

Many thanks to yourself and all involved with the Family fun day especially the welcoming/polite students who helped that day. It was a very well planned out day. My son and I thoroughly loved the whole experience and my son wished he had more time there. He is already asking if he can go back next year!! Thanks again to all the volunteers who baked all the scrumptious cakes.

Wanted to say thank you very much for organising the family day again on Saturday. Second time I have attended & I can’t stress enough what a good day it is. My 6yr old loved, trying things like the zip wire for the 1st time. I know a couple of colleagues who attended for the first time & they were amazed at the amount of activities, the brilliant staff & students at Capernwray & that you & colleagues go to those lengths for us. Thanks again

I just want to say a massive thank you to you and the rest of the staff and volunteers at Capenwray for hosting the open day. This year was the first time I have had the opportunity to attend with my family and to say we had an amazing day would be an understatement. We actually left a little disappointed because we’d not managed to try everything during the day because it was so packed with activities. I had 2 very tired children (fell asleep in the car) on the way home but they have been talking about it all weekend. I was also unfortunate enough to find I had a flat tyre at the end of the day and the offers of help from staff and volunteers was phenomenal. I would be hard pressed to say what my favourite activity was and I think my eldest son is the same (My baby just loved running round on the grass). If it is something we are fortunate you facilitate again we will not hesitate to come next year. The staff and volunteers are a credit and the venue is amazing.

Just come back from the fun day. Got to say what a well organised, tightly run and totally entertainig few hours it was. Even for a jaded old cynic like myself! The young staff on duty were a credit to Capenwray Hall and the setting was spectacular. I even came away with a substantial assortment of cakes for the team, courtesy of one of the lovely ladies on the baking stall, when I happened to mention (hinted at, in all honesty) that I was working tonight. It must take a lot of time and effort to get something like this off the ground.

 

An open letter to the public of the UK

Dear everyone,

Why am I choosing to write to you now? Well I am a police officer. I have served you for 26 years, 2 of those as a volunteer. I love my job, I enjoy going to work, and I am at my absolute happiest when I know I have helped one of you.

I have been with you when your baby has died. Nothing affected me more than carrying your baby into the white coffin in the ambulance. I wasn’t even a mum myself then.

I have sat with you and revisited you when a burglar came and pretended to be one of us, and made you feel safe again.
I have fought with you when you were drunk, or just angry. Generally, in the past, you would later apologise, but sadly no longer.

I have attended your house to resolve your domestic dispute over who owns the remote control. I was just 19 and you were in your forties!
I have attended to your partner when you battered her within an inch of her life, and ensured she never saw you again, even though she would not prosecute you. She has her life back.

I have picked up your 6 year old girl in my arms, lost and upset because you turned her out of her home after she repeated the sexual behaviour her Uncle had done to her, on her 3 year old brother. I cuddled her. I loved her, and everyone knows, I wish I had kept her. She became a prostitute due to lack of social care and money.

I have protected your government ministers staying neutral in public. But my goodness never have I seen so much personal hatred of our organisation as from our current home secretary.

I have picked the pieces up from colleagues who have fallen apart after cutting your son down from the loft where he hung himself.
I have chased those kids who burgled your house, caught them and got the conviction in court to send them to prison.
I have talked your son down from the roof of the building, where he had threatened to throw himself off.

I have sat with you after you were raped by an alleged friend of yours, taken you to court in my own car, fought with the barristers supposedly on our side, and ensured he got sent down. You were so very brave.

I have sat with your very neglected children in the back of the car, while they wept for the mum who did not know how to look after them safely, but whom they still loved.

I supported a colleague who had been mown down deliberately by one of you, and subsequently had to leave the job as he lives in constant pain. He is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. His life is affected forever. The offender served 8 months.

This is not everything. I am not unique. There are thousands of us doing more than this every single day to protect you. Yes we make mistakes. Sometimes we get angry. We get tired and grumpy, and act unprofessionally. I pick up those pieces too, making sure we deal with that, and get those officers back on track.
I have no time for cops who are criminals.

But I am also a person. I am one of you. I am a wife and a mum of 2 young children. I do the school run. I do the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning. I hurt! I am affected by what you say. Last week it was a “whore”. That is the least of it. I am affected by what I see.

This week yet another of my family has been murdered. The list is growing. But it never gets easier to lose one of our own in such a needless tragic way. Why would someone choose to run a fellow human being over rather than get a puncture in their stolen car? Why?

The current public outrage over these incidents, over the murder of Fiona, Nicola, Dave and all my colleagues is heartwarming. Nothing was harder to deal with than the public clapping at every police officer along Deansgate as we walked to Nicola’s funeral. I know you know you need us, I know you care about us as police officers, and as people.

My plea to you, is to remember those feelings. We are getting far fewer. We cannot do any more than we are doing. We are going to work every single day wishing there were more of us to look after more of you. We, as in every public service, have our limits. We cannot arrest every £10 shoplifter in a store which makes millions and still chooses to have no security, as we would not have time to look for your teenage daughter who has been indoctrinated into believing love is sexual abuse. We cannot investigate every criminal damage, as we would not have time to stop the domestic abuse which damages your minds far more than the physical abuse.

Everything is a priority. We know that. And yet we are still asked to prioritise. We try our best.

I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am happy to continue to look after you, to fight for you, to save you from further harm. But I want to be able to come home to my family. I want my colleagues to make it home to their family.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE NOW THAN EVER BEFORE.
Please stick with us. Remember your heartbreak at watching those 2 little girls deliver flowers and messages to their Daddy who will never come home. Remember the heartbreak of watching the parents of the murdered police officers, knowing they will never watch them get married or have grandchildren. There are thousands of them out there. Just remember them.

Yours faithfully.
A cop!

Originally posted to Thin Blue Line UK

What Are Policemen Made Of? By Paul Harvey

I came across this article by P. Harvey and loved it because it really sums up your work as officers. Have a read and take from it what you like.

Keep up the good work! The world still needs you! Chaplain Steve


Don’t credit me with the mongrel prose: it has many parents-at least 420,000 of them: Policemen.

A Policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity.

Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are “new”. What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace.

Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy!

What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.

But…If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting; if not, he’s a grouch.

He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.

But…If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.

A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.

A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But…If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen-but refused to remember.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’d have to be genius…. For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.

Compliments of COPatch

HAVE DONE WITH FILTHY LANGUAGE.

Bill Hubbard, Executive Police Officer–Taos, NM, Police Department.

Herbert, your mouth is filthy! I read in a book one time that what comes out of your mouth comes from your heart (Matthew 15:18). Is your heart as dark and disgusting as your mouth?

Herbert was mad, violent, out of control, and had a very filthy mouth. Whether it was the amount of alcohol in him, the bump on the head he got when he wrecked his car, the cops who showed up to arrest him, or a combination of all three was hard to tell.  The jail wouldn’t take him until he was cleared medically, and it took three of us to wrestle him out of the patrol car and into an ER treatment room.

Once there and cuffed to a bed, his tirade continued at the top of his lungs. Herbert cussed us, the hospital staff, other patients, and anyone else who walked past his cubicle.  I took a break while the other two officers put up with him, then it was my turn to stay. That’s when I asked him about his heart. My comment had the desired effect: He paused for a breath while his pickled brain tried to process what I’d said. It was like flipping off a switch; Herbert just stopped.

After thinking for a moment, he started to cry, “You sound just like my dad!” Within moments he was a tame man. I sat on the edge of his bed and spoke to him from God’s Word, having as much conversation as I could through his alcoholic haze. For the next hour he was like a lamb, and not a vile word came out of his mouth. He was even kind to the ER staff! When his treatment was complete, Herbert walked out of the ER without our having to place a hand on him, and without saying a word. At the jail he even thanked the officers who booked him, saying they had been kind. The officers who saw his remarkable transformation still don’t believe it, and they credit me with diffusing the situation.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” I diffused nothing that night–the power of God’s Word made the difference.  Never discount the power of the Bible for providing the perfect solution!

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

30 Days of Carrying My Wife.

I came across this letter on the internet and not sure if it is really legitimate. But I think it is really good and worth thinking about. I to, like the author feel many couples do not realize how close they are to success when they give up. My prayer for you as police officers is that you will not give up on your marriages. Find a way to rekindle your love for each other. It may seem silly at first but it can be very powerful for you both.

Just a Chaplains Chat.

Steve

This letter about a husband’s and wife’s ordeal has been circulating the internet for around 10 years.  It was rumored to have been first submitted to a news site in Malaysia.  The author remains anonymous.  

I got home one night and, as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I want a divorce.” She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words. Instead, she softly asked me why. I avoided the question, and this made her angry. She threw down the chopsticks and shouted, “You are not a man!” We didn’t talk to each other that night. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage, but I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement stating that she could keep the house, the car, and a 30% share of my company. She glanced at it and tore it to pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy, but I could not take back what I had said. She finally cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see in the first place, and the idea of divorce felt more real now.

I got home very late from work the next day, and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have dinner, I just went straight to bed and fell asleep.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but requested that for the next month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month, and she didn’t want to disrupt him with a broken marriage.

She also asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day, and requested that I now carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning for the month’s duration. I thought she was going crazy, but to make our last days together bearable, I accepted her odd request.

We were both pretty clumsy about it when I carried her out on the first day, but our son was joyfully clapping his hands behind us, singing, “Daddy is holding mommy in his arms!” His words triggered a sense of pain in me. I carried her from the bedroom to the living room, and then to the door. She closed her eyes and softly said, “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded and put her down outside the door.

We weren’t as clumsy on the second day. She leaned on my chest, and I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t really looked at this woman for a long time. She was not young anymore. There were fine wrinkles on her face, and her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by, and I suddenly realized that she was getting very thin.

One morning it hit me how she was burying so much pain and bitterness in her heart, and without really thinking about it, I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at that moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out!” To him, seeing his father carry his mother out had become an essential part of every morning. My wife gestured to our son to come closer, and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might start changing my mind. I carried her in my arms, and her hand naturally wrapped around my neck. I held her body tightly, just like on our wedding day.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms, I could hardly move a step. I knew what I had to do. I drove to Jane’s place, walked upstairs and said, “I’m sorry, Jane, but I do not want to divorce my wife anymore”.

It all became very clear to me. I had carried my wife into our home on our wedding day, and I am to hold her “until death do us apart”. I bought a bouquet of flowers for my wife on my way home, and when the salesgirl asked me what to write on the card, I smiled and said, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart”.

I got home, flowers in my hands, and a big smile on my face. But my wife had died in her sleep while I was away. It turns out that she’d been fighting cancer for a few months now, but I was too busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon, but wanted to save me from a negative reaction from our son (in case we push through with the divorce). In the eyes of our son, at least, I would still appear to have been a loving husband. I carried her out for the last time…

The small details of our lives, that I initially thought were boring and unimportant, are what really matters in a relationship; not the mansion, the car, personal property or the money in the bank. These things may create an environment conducive for happiness, but they cannot provide happiness in-and-of themselves.

So find time to be your lover’s friend, and to do those little things for each other that build intimacy.

Many people do not realize how close they are to success when they give up.

An Officer’s Life

This is from:  Peace Officers of California

*You wonder why he pulled you over and gave you a ticket for speeding, 

He just worked an accident where people died because they were going too fast.

*You wonder why that cop was so mean,
He just got done working a case where a drunk driver killed a kid.

*You work for 8 hours,
He works for up to 18 hours.

*You drink hot coffee to stay awake,
The cold rain in the middle of the night keeps him awake.

*You complain of a “headache,” and call in sick,
He goes into work still hurt and sore from the guy he had to fight the night before.

*You drink your coffee on your way to the mall,
He spills his as he runs Code 3 to a traffic crash with kids trapped inside.

*You make sure you’re cell phone is in your pocket before you leave the house,
He makes sure his gun is clean and fully loaded and his vest is tight.

*You talk trash about your “buddies” that aren’t with you,
He watches his buddy get shot at, and wounded in front of him.

*You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls,
He walks down the highway looking for body parts from a traffic crash.

*You complain about how hot it is,
He wears fifty pounds of gear and a bullet proof vest in July and still runs around chasing crack heads.

*You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong,
He runs out before he gets his food to respond to an armed robbery.

*You get out of bed in the morning and take your time getting ready,
He gets called out of bed at 2 am after working 12 hours and has to be into work A.S.A.P. for a homicide.

*You go to the mall and get your hair redone,
He holds the hair of some college girl while shes puking in the back of his patrol car.

*You’re angry because your class ran 5 minutes over,
His shift ended 4 hours ago and there’s no end in sight.

*You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight,
He can’t make any plans because on his off days he still gets called back into work.

*You yell and scream at the squad car that just past you because they slowed you down,
He’s in the driver seat of the squad car, going to cut somebody out of their car.

*You roll your eyes when a baby cries in public,
He picks up a dead child in his arms and prays that it was crying.

*You criticize your police department and say they’re never there quick enough,
He blasts the siren while the person in front of him refuses to move while talking on their cell phone.

*You hear the jokes about fallen officers and say they should have known better,
He is a hero and runs into situations when everyone else is running away in order to make sure no one else gets hurt and loses his life doing it.

*You are asked to go to the store by your parents, you don’t,
He would take a bullet for his buddy without question.

*You sit there and judge him, saying that it’s a waste of money to have them around,

Yet as soon as you need help he is there.

 AS IRON SHARPENS IRON

Sergeant Dino Heckermann, Badge No. 3537–Streamwood, IL, Police Department.

It’s great to be 22 years old, living out a childhood dream, in top physical shape, wearing a shiny police badge, and feeling invincible.  I believed in God and the historical Jesus, but I was lost spiritually.  At the department I met a senior juvenile police detective, Darwin Adams.  An imposing man in stature with a vise-grip handshake from years of milking cows, he had a gentle heart.  Detective Adams seemed very old to me at the time (I heard that when he began his police career he only earned fifty cents and hour!), but he was who I needed—a wise, older mentor.

Three years later at 25 I felt burned out spiritually.  I asked myself, Can you survive a twenty-plus-year police career, dealing with the stress of the job?  Chasing women and drinking beer after shifts was not cutting the mustard for me.  But then there was Detective Adams…his quiet strength and peaceful heart had grabbed my attention.  I wanted what he had, so I took up his invitation to attend a men’s breakfast at Moody Church.  Even though I grew up in Chicago I had never heard of Moody.  In fact, I thought he meant “Moonie Church,” but being at the end of my spiritual rope I was willing to try anything.

We attended a Moody Church men’s breakfast.  It was a life-changing experience to hear fifteen hundred men singing praises to God.  Though strange to me at first, it captured my heart.  I do not remember the message, but my spiritual taste buds thirsted for God.

Shortly thereafter, I accepted an invitation from Detective Adams and Officer Tom Cooper to attend a Promise Keepers conference in Texas with other police officers and firefighters.  Until the opening session I didn’t understand what Promise Keepers was all about, but I discovered then. When the invitation was given after Coach Tom Landry’s powerful Gospel message, I gave my life to Jesus Christ in front of seventy thousand men!

I am so thankful for the obedience of those police officers who have mentored me—“Christian Oaks,” I call them.  They walk worthy of the Lord, giving me and others opportunities to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.  My prayer is that God will give me similar opportunities to mentor others for his kingdom.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

SHE NEEDED A LOVING FATHER.

Sergeant Mark Oliver, Badge No. D745 New Zealand Police

As a new constable, I took a phone call early one morning from a very distressed young lady.  She rang up to tell me she was heading down to the railway tracks to throw herself under the next train.  From our continued conversation I managed to get a general idea of where she might be, so several officers and a K-9 unit were dispatched to the area.  Eventually they found her and brought her back to the police station.  In person, she began to tell me more of her story.

The young lady had been both sexually and physically abused by her own father while growing up.  Even though I wasn’t very old myself and quite new as a constable, I prayed silently, “Lord, you really are the only answer to all this young lady has endured.  The two of us come from opposite ends of the spectrum.  I was raised in a Christian home with two very loving parents, and she has been brought up in a family where her father chose to abuse and degrade her, and her mother pretended it wasn’t happening.”

As I shared the fact that I was a Christian, she looked at me for the first time.  Up till then, she only had stared at the ground.  She told me her doctor was a Christian and, as it turned out, attended a church similar to mine.  Jokingly, she mused that perhaps the two of us were conspiring against her!  I told her it was no accident I had been working that night, and God definitely had a hand in it.  After several hours of conversation she laid aside her suicidal thoughts, and I was able to take the young lady home.  Over the next few months she became friends with my wife and me, and eventually gave her life over to the Lord.

The change in her life was remarkable.  She had been wearing dark clothing to avoid notice, walking the streets alone at all hours of the day and night, and not interacting with anyone because she felt so worthless.  Now she is an outgoing, bubbly young lady finally beginning to enjoy life.  I ‘m so glad God gave me the opportunity to tell her there was a loving, heavenly Father waiting for her to accept his Son as her Savior.  Watching her get baptised was a very special occasion I always will remember.  She is a true testament to the power of God being able to change hearts.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. Ezekiel 36:26

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

HER TESTIMONY CHANGED ME!

David Laumatia, Senior Sergeant—New Zealand Police

Becoming a detective was going to be the highlight of my life, but instead it resulted in sin that eventually led to separation from my wife.  Even though we got back together, the trust in our marriage had gone.  During that hard time I began to feel there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing.

One night the partner of one of my officers phoned in sick, so I worked with the officer in his place.  I knew Carika was a Christian, and thought I was, too.  But as we cruised and she shared her faith, I knew I didn’t have the kind of relationship with God that she did.  One thing she said that really hit home was that if she did not speak to God every day, she felt miserable.  This bothered me, for I said grace before meals and prayed when I was in big trouble, but that was it.  I remember asking God if he was real and, if so, could he make himself known to me?

A year later a police friend who knew I was seeking God recommended I go down to a local church, so I did.  I listened intently as the preacher spoke powerfully from the Bible.  When he finished, he said that if anyone wanted to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior they should come to the front.  A swarm of people rushed forward, but the cop in me held me back at first.  Eventually I went forward, and an older man came and prayed with me.  Right then I knew I was a sinner, repented in my heart, and received Christ into my life.  That night changed me forever!

After being touched so powerfully by God, I went home and told my family, “God is real, God is real!”  They looked at me as if I had lost my mind, but over the next several months they saw good changes in me.  In time God changed all of us and restored our family, and now my wife and two sons also serve the Lord with all their hearts. I am so thankful to Carika for sharing her faith with me. Everywhere I go I tell people that if I don’t speak to God every day I feel miserable!  Prayer does change things.

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord. 2 Timothy 1:8

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

AN OFFICER SAVED MY LIFE

Anonymous.

I was a troubled young man of 17 whose life was saved by the kindness of a police officer.  I had grown up in the interior of British Columbia in the 60s, and got caught up in the counterculture of that era.  A ward of the government, after being molested several times in foster homes, they just cut me a cheque each month and let me live alone anywhere I wished.  So, in the eleventh grade I rented a room in a flop house, kept going to school, and walked the streets, high on LSD.  It was not yet categorized and still legal.

My night meanderings were noticed by RCMP Officer Mike Hewitt.  He would pick me up, buy me food and coffee, and just talk.  A kind man, he would let me sit in the back of his car while he drove around doing his job.  If he got busy he would drop me off, but every night he looked for me on the streets, and a friendship grew.  In spite of his friendship, I was very troubled and depressed.  I decided I didn’t want to live any longer, overdosed on LSD, fell into a coma, and disappeared.  No one cared if I was alive or dead…except Mike.  He became quite concerned for my well-being and began asking around for me.  Later he told me he had an urgent feeling I was in danger and needed to be found.  Finally, he located me on a cot in a place nicknamed “The Dirty Dozen,” a heartbeat away from death. After two weeks in a hospital I woke up to an “Alice in Wonderland” world, and spent 18 months in a state mental institution. The only person who came to see me during all that time was Mike, and he had to drive 250 miles to do it!

The result of his efforts is that I got well, and am now one of God’s servants. Through Mike’s caring and God’s grace, I reached responsible adulthood and founded the Argentine Children’s Mission.  The past six years I spent in Argentina working with, providing food for, and giving hope to children there.  For all who think cops are tough guys to be feared, you are wrong.  Mike taught me how to love and care for those who can’t care for themselves, and I’m just passing on to others what I learned.  To Mike and all the other caring cops of this world, thank you and God bless you!

“I needed cloths and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”  Matthew 25:36.

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

 WHEN THE INMATES PRAYED.

Officer Michael L. Smith—Hamilton County, TN, Sheriff’s Office

December 31, 2005, my 14-year-old son, Michael, was diagnosed with a germinoma (tumor) in the center of his brain.  It was blocking the flow of fluid, so a shunt was placed just behind his right ear to help.  That day he had three seizures within five to ten minutes of each other, and was hospitalized immediately.  After a week in the hospital he was released to come home, and we began making arrangements for surgery at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

I am an officer in the Hamilton County, Tennessee, jail, and knew an inmate in the jail who had turned his life around and given it to Christ while incarcerated. When we learned how serious Michael’s situation was I telephoned the jail and asked that this inmate be told of my son’s problem and our urgent need for prayer.  Thereupon he and several other inmates began to pray for Michael.

On February 6 we took Michael to Vanderbilt.  We were at the hospital the next morning at 7 a.m., they began prepping him at 9:15, and surgery began at 11 o’clock.  He wasn’t taken to ICU until around 6:30 that evening.  Through the miracle of prayer and by God’s grace, his recovery from surgery took only four-and-one-half days!  Over the next four months he went through chemotherapy and radiation, and then was released.  Michael is 16 now and in remission.

Not a day passes that I don’t thank God for his healing power, the skilled medical staff, and the inmates who cared enough to lift us up in prayer.  It’s easy to generalize that “all inmates are bad” and, “God doesn’t hear their prayers,” but as a jail officer I’ve come to realize that kind of thinking is wrong.  I’m reminded of a poem written years ago by Sam Walter Foss: “Let me live in a house by the side of the road, where the race of men go by; the men who are good and the men who are bad, as good and as bad as I.”

Thanks you, God, for helping me realize you love us all and can forgive even a sinner such as me!

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

SHOOT OR DON’T SHOOT?

Sergeant Cameron J. Grysen—Houston, TX, Police Department.

The call had all the earmarks of trouble: It was night, at an apartment complex in a bad part of town, and a man was shooting a gun “at anything that moves!”  Suddenly our “routine patrol” wasn’t routine anymore!  One more thing: No one was available to back us up!

My partner and I raced to the complex, then drove slowly around the parking lot.  We didn’t see or hear anything, so we exited the car and started walking around the buildings.  We’d just gone past a corner when we heard two loud bangs from a gun.  Out of the corner of our eyes we located the source: a second-story balcony about fifty yards away.  We dove for cover behind a wall and began moving cautiously toward the suspect, covering each other as we moved.  As we got close, we could see it was a man who appeared highly intoxicated.  He was holding a pistol, pointing it straight in front of him and staring off into space.

We gave him voice commands to put down the gun in both English and Spanish, which he didn’t acknowledge.  Finally, after a long while he did lay the pistol on the railing in front of him.  I moved out of my covered position, getting as close to the suspect as possible, while my partner ran up the stairs to get him.  I needed to be in position to shoot in case he tried to shoot my partner.  As it was, we were able to take the suspect down and arrest him with no shots fired.

Unknown to us, a lot of people who were holed up in their apartments for protection were watching through their windows.  Relieved that the crisis had ended, they all came out after the arrest.  One witness was a young man attending the High School for Law Enforcement.  This is a magnet school in Houston for students interested in careers in law enforcement.  He thanked us for ending the terror safely, and said he’d just seen a film in class that day about “when and when not to shoot.”

From the scenario depicted in the film, he said we should have shot the man.  My thoughts on that were, I’m glad I didn’t see that film.  I know God was watching over us, and it’s far better to save a life than to have blood shed!

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.  Psalm 138:7

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

My “AH-HA!” Moment

Jeffrey P. Rush, Deputy Sheriff—Jefferson County, AL, Sheriff’s Office

Sometimes it’s easy to compartmentalize your life and take on a different persona for each area—job, family, outside activities, church.  As a professional I’ve worn a law enforcement badge for more than thirty years, trying to live in an honorable way. But somehow in the process I hadn’t put it all together—policing and being a godly man are one and the same.  When I finally did, it was my “ah-ha!” moment, and it changed my life.

As a criminal justice professor I study a lot.  In his book No More Christian Nice Guy, author Paul Coughlin wrote about thumos, a Greek word often translated as “spiritedness” or “passion.”  He helped me understand that the “passion” I had for my life as a law enforcement professional should be demonstrated with exuberance in all my roles—husband, father, criminal justice professor, and, through all, “Christian.”

Policing is God-ordained, and so is my role as a man.  God destined me to be a man, and he called me into law enforcement.  He never meant for me to separate the two but to manifest godliness in every aspect of my life. What I do and who I am are so intertwined they are inseparable.  There can be no division in my life between being on-or off-duty: the same characteristics, principles, values, concerns, passions, and love for God and man could not be compartmentalized.

Policing is a difficult profession with much toxicity: the stuff we see and deal with, the stuff we cannot remove—all are toxic.  Being a man of Christ doesn’t remove the toxicities, but it does help manage them in a much more positive way.  Most police agencies have policy and procedure manuals detailing how personnel are to act and respond in a variety of situations.  The Bible is the Christian “policy and procedure manual” for how Christian officers should respond to the toxicities of our work.  All we have to do is read it and put God’s principles to work.  The job may not be any easier, but our lives are when we live “24/7” according to God’s “playbook.”  In times of crisis an officer always wants a caring and capable partner.  We have that in Christ; he always has our back!

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you….And so you became a model to all believer in Macedonia and Achaia.  1 Thessalonians 1;4,7

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING

Susan Skov, Parking Enforcement Officer—Independence, MO, Police Department.

The car was in the middle of a driving lane on a busy highway. The flashers weren’t on, and the obviously abandoned car was causing major traffic problems. I was on my way to another call but activated my emergency lights and stopped to investigate.  After checking the license and asking the dispatcher to find a phone number for the owner I got out to inspect the car.  I had been thinking how careless it was to dump a car in the middle of the road, but this vehicle didn’t fit the normal description of an abandoned car.  It was clean, obviously well-used, and had a child’s carseat in the back.  As a parking enforcement officer I’ve seen every sort of car, in various conditions, dumped nearly every imaginable place, but not in the middle of the road.  This had to be something different.  But then Dispatch said the owner’s phone has been disconnected.  Great, I thought, another dumped car!

With a tow truck on the scene and my paperwork completed—including filling out citations—we were ready to clear the road.  Just then I saw a man and young woman jump out of a car on the other side of the road, frantically running in my direction with a gas can in hand!  There was fear in the young woman’s eyes as she pleaded with me not to tow the car.  Both she and her husband wearing the uniforms of restaurant wait—persons, and I begin to “see the bigger picture.”

It was then I realized that not everything is as it appears to be.  As law enforcement officers it is easy to go through our days with tunnel vision, thinking everyone is a “bad guy.”  We forget that folks are just like us—struggling to make it through until the next day, hoping we won’t run out of gas before payday, or worrying some unexpected problem may rear its ugly head and leave us in a bind.

That day helped open my eyes, to make me realize that first appearances can be deceiving.  Now each day I ask God to remind me of that truth, to show me people the way he sees them, and–most importantly—to open the eyes of my heart.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

MAKING IT THROUGH THE DAY

Chief Robert W. Lowen–Woodstock, IL, Police Department.

How do you do it, Commander?”

“Do what?” I asked.

“How do you go on day in and day out facing setbacks, enduring the criticisms, putting up with all the garbage, and still appearing to be unfazed by it all?”

This question from my community service officer (CSO) couldn’t have come at a worse time.  I was working as a police commander in charge of the detectives and juvenile officers of our department.  It was a typical “nonsensical day” dealing with the issues faced by a police department of a midsize suburb bordering the city of Chicago.  To be expected are the usual personnel issues, typical citizen complaints, acting as a buffer between those above and below me and, of course, the conflicting and unrealistic expectations of City Hall.  But there was one more thing:  I recently had been passed over for promotion.

How do I do it?  How does any police officer put up with a never-ending list of human problems and woes?  As one man familiar with police work puts it, “Sanitation workers are called ‘garbage men’ because they deal with people’s garbage.  Police officers also deal with ‘garbage’—the ‘garbage’ of human tragedy.”

I asked the CSO to walk with me over to the local coffee shop.  While we walked together I talked about my faith in Christ.  I pointed out that whatever we do and whoever we are, everyone is faced with trials in their lives.  That being the case, how does anyone make it though?  Since dealing with trials is a universal problem, there had to be a universal solution.  The Bible makes it clear the solution is Jesus.

It is my trust in Jesus that guides me through each day’s trials and tribulations.  Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”  I told him I work for a Power higher than men, and can trust in the Lord to be “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).  No, I don’t succeed in taking all of life’s curveballs as well as I’d like, but I do my best to follow the Lord’s Word and make him my mainstay.

The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.   James 1:3,4

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

LIFE IS UNFAIR

Deputy Nathan Brickerstaff—Ellis County, TX Sheriff’s Office.

Officers in law enforcement see unfairness from all perspectives—if not on the streets, then in the career itself.  Too often, what cops see as the most unfair is what we find inside our own agencies.  However, problems arise when we view ourselves as victims.  We can get caught up in both past and present circumstances, and end up with a negative response—anger.  Of course, that anger has to be directed at something or someone else.

If we direct anger toward others, offenses follow.  If we direct it inwards, we enslave ourselves.  Guilt often follows anger, which is followed by depression.  We feel bad; therefore, we try to find “things” to compensate for the bad feelings.  Addictions often arise at this point, for they are “things” in which we bury ourselves to cover negative feelings arising from thinking life is unfair.  Then you hear a preacher on Sunday morning telling you to love, be faithful and be kind and forgiving, and we want to know, “What world does he live in?”  Its certainly isn’t ours!

The next question we ask is, “If God is good, why does he let unfairness happen?

That’s when I turn to Scripture, for it is full of stories about life not being fair.  Take Elijah.  He was living for God, yet the queen demanded his death.  We see this all the time when police get killed simply because the were at work “doing their job.”  Then there’s Jonah.  He didn’t want to preach to the bad people of Nineveh, but God made him do it.  We have to be “civil” to criminals who spit on us, curse us, kick and scratch and shoot us if the get the opportunity.  And who could forget Job, or David being chased by Saul, or a host of other “good guys” who had to endure?  As cops we ask, “Where is justice?”  How can we have confidence in God when life seems so unfair?

The Bible doesn’t promise a life free of pain, difficulties, or loss.  But it does say in Hebrews 13:5,6 Jesus will be our companion on the journey.  If we never had a problem, we would never need God.  Sometimes when life seems unfair I have to practice praising God instead of concentrating on the negative.  No, life isn’t fair, but it’s worse without God.  Personally, when I find myself sinking into a pity party I go back to Jesus:  He always gives me the perspective I need!

The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?  Hebrews 13:6.

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

 

TWO CHANGED HEARTS

Anonymous—Sheriff’s Deputy, Florida

A long-time law enforcement officer, my many years of dealing with felons and ex-cons had left me cynical and suspicious as to whether they could truly change…until I met Eric.

One of our members had invited him to church, and we got acquainted. After greetings he said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” When I told him I was sorry  but I didn’t, he went on, “When I was 15, you arrested me for burglary!”  He said that arrest was one of many that finally put him into the Florida State Prison system at the age of 21.  By then he had become an avowed Satan-worshipper with satanic tattoos covering his hands and arms.  He flaunted them to show others how wicked he was.

Then something dramatic happened: in prison he went to a Bible study with another inmate.  The teacher explained the Gospel; he was intrigued to know more, and took the free Bible offered.  He read and read, and soon realized Jesus is truly God.  He turned to Christ in saving faith, repented of his sin, and trusted Christ alone for his salvation.  During his three years in prison, Eric attended a weekly Bible study and spent much time reading and studying the Scriptures.  Released from prison just before his 25th birthday, he returned home and looked for a good Bible-teaching church.  That’s when we met.

Eric and I established and nurtured a friendship that should not have been.  He was a convicted felon, and I was a suspicious cop.  Unlike many “jailhouse repenters” I’d met, Eric truly has a changed heart.  He even spent thousands of dollars on laser treatments to remove the satanic tattoos.  Though his father had mistreated him as a boy, Eric wanted to obey Scripture by showing him honor and respect.  Because his father was in bad health from years of alcohol abuse, Eric moved to his area to help care for him and to share the Gospel.  However, before he moved he made certain there was a solid, Bible-teaching church there.

As I look back, I realize our friendship was made possible only through Jesus Christ.  In prison, Eric’s heart had been changed.  In our friendship, Christ changed my heart also.  He gave me strength to over-come my cynicism and dislike for individuals in Eric’s position and to see Eric for who he had become—“in Christ…a new creation.”  Too often we fail to see that Christ really can change hearts, whether criminal or cop.  But he can, if we are willing to allow it!

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

MY UNINVITED GUEST

Lieutenant Dennis E. Nail—Martinsville, IN, Police Department.

On a November evening my wife and daughter has gone to town. Shadows and darkness cast the light aside, and the stage was set for an uninvited guest.

For the preceding month I had been dogged by the media and politics—all because I had dared express my opinion regarding the 9/11 attack on New York City, our nation’s moral decay, and the relentless criticism of Christian values. It seemed on that autumn night, everything came to a head. As I sat on the living room floor, an evil spirit as real as anything made of flesh and bone entered the room. He took a seat beside me, said he could understand my loneliness, and he felt my inner gut-wrenching misery. He instructed me on the way out: Just take the .357 from the kitchen cabinet, walk out into the woods, and end the frustration by taking my life.  At first I honestly began to reason with this unholy guest. He was so convincing, so reassuring.  But how could this be?  As a Christian, how could I dare take my own life?

I fell down and called upon the Lord…and I heard God’s voice.  He told me I was bought with a price and belonged to him.  My life was not mine to take.  He told me he knew what it was like to be deserted by friends, for he, too, had been tempted by the same tempter who was waging spiritual warfare right in my living room.  God reminded me he had suffered for my salvation, and that I was going to be all right.  I can’t explain what I was feeling at that moment, but I could feel his presence as he wrapped his arms around me—comforting, reassuring, and protecting me.  He told me everything was going to be fine.  Immediately the room seemed to take on a glow.  I prayed, opened my Bible, and read some passages—everything was in his hands.

Since then I approach those who attempt suicide with a whole different outlook.  For most, no one is present when they attempt to take their lives.  They always seem to do it when nobody else is around, no family members or friends.  If they don’t have Jesus, they have no one.  Jesus is a friend who is always there, even during the most severe test of faith.  He is our strength and refuge.  “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”  (Psalm 42:11).

“MADE IN HIS IMAGE’

 Mickey Koerner, former deputy—Polk County, IA, Sheriff’s Office

While a jailer, I saw many prisoners come and go—some with cocky attitudes, some contrite, and some just beaten down with no life in their eyes. I had one encounter that changed the way I look at inmates—and people in general—forever. He was being discharged from jail, ready to re-enter the free world, and he left and impression that’s lasted for more than twelve years.

As he collected his paper bag of belongings my first thought was, What a waste! He was wearing cutoff jeans with a cord belt, no shoes, and not shirt. Restaurants and bars world have rejected him, but the jail took him. As that thought went through my head, I heard a still, small voice say, “Yes, but I love him.” It was God speaking to my hard heart about my judgmental attitude.

It is so easy to be judgmental.  Officers in uniform are watched and sometimes looked up to by our neighbors, our church, and nearly everyone. That gave me quite an arrogant attitude. What right do folks like him have to ignore the rules of society, perhaps do harm to others, and then end up in jail—making folks like me have to care for them? My eyes started to well up with tears when I realized my sin was just as ugly to God as this man’s crime was to society. “Do you have evil thoughts?” asked Jesus. “That’s just as bad as murder!” Do you have something against your brother and harbor a grudge for years on end? That becomes your sin, not his (Matthew 6:15).

I escorted the young man to the front of the building and out of the jail. Though I never saw him again, daily I have remembered his face, my thoughts, and what God said to me twelve years ago. We all are made in the image of God—what a wonderful gift!  God thinks and talks; we think and talk. God is relational; we relate to things, people, and animals. God cares for us in physical , mental, emotional, and spiritual ways, just as we care for family and friends in the same ways. He reminded me that as a deputy sheriff working in the jail I was to see people and inmates as he did: made in his image. It is my God-given duty to honor him in that manner.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace. Romans 3:23, 24

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

WATCH OUT FOR THE OTHER GUY !

Trooper Thalia Stambaugh (Ret.)–Michigan State Police

Back when I was in high school and just learning to drive, there was an ad campaign for safe driving with the tag line, “Watch out for the other guy.” Of course, that meant other drivers on the road who might do something like pull out in front of you, run a stop sign, etc. The tag line worked: It has remained stuck in my mind.

Twice that slogan “popped into my head” in such a way as to be described only as “divine intervention” or “divine guidance.”  In 1997 I transferred to Niles, Michigan, and bought a house in St. Joseph, about twenty-five miles north of Niles.  Half my driving to and from work was on a two-lane state trunk line, which was usually pretty busy both ways with lots of semis. Within a month of my move, I was making my morning drive from home to Niles around 6 o’clock.  It was fall and dark, and I was thinking about a project and listening to the radio while driving.  Suddenly, for no reason I thought, Watch out for the other guy!  Just then, in the oncoming traffic I saw a flatbed semi hauling rolled steel.  It had drifted a good way over the centerline and was coming right at me!  I had just enough time to veer partially onto the shoulder and avoid a serious collision.

Just recently it happened again. The slogan just sort of “hit me” before another vehicle crossed the centerline. I believe if it wasn’t for the sudden alertness it gave me, I would have been hit. In the Gospel of John, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, saying he would be our Companion and Guide (Chapters 14-16).  I believe in God and the power of the Holy Spirit, and am convinced these overt instances are just a small sample of his constant over-sight and direction in my life.

“The Spirit of truth… lives with you and will be in you.”  John 14:17

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

“Are you Jesus?”

Chaplain Paul Northcut—Cross and Shield Ministries, Russellville, AR.

On December 29, 2009, we were about to sit down to supper when a man named “Billy” called. He, his wife, and their two small children—a boy age 3 and a girl 4—were at the Main Street Mission in Russellville, Arkansas. The Mission was closed, but some families temporarily living there said, “Let’s call the police chaplain.” When I met with them they told me they had lost their jobs and home in Colorado, and were trying to get somewhere, anywhere, that might be better. They had some contacts in southern Arkansas and thought that might be warmer than Colorado.

Billy told me he and his wife were Christians and had asked God to help them take care of their family. They had taught the children to pray, and all along the way the little girl had prayed, “Jesus, please take care of us.” In addition to food, gas, and a place to spend the night, most of all this family needed encouragement.

I called the mission directors and explained the situation—a story we have heard over and over again. The mission would fill their gas tank, so I led them to a station and took care of that. Next I talked to a good friend who owns a catfish restaurant. He said, “Let’s get these folks fed. Don’t worry about the cost; I’ll take care of it.” While they feasted on the best catfish in the state, I went down to a motel and arranged for a room. Then it was back to the restaurant to tell them where they would be staying. We prayed together at their table and I put a couple of bills in Billy’s shirt pocket.

As I was about to leave, the little girl looked up and, with the sincerity only a 4-year-old can have, she asked, “Mister, are you Jesus?”  Not knowing how to answer it I finally said, “No, honey, I just work for him.”

Just as police officers can burn out, sometimes I get tired of ministry—it’s called “Compassion Fatigue.” But every now and then something like this puts things back in perspective and I remember who I work for and how much he blesses me.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.  Colossians 3:23

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

Should a Chaplain be a Sniper?

J. R. McNeil, Badge No. 279–Pinellas Park FL Police Department

Think about it for a moment: the officer is 43 with only three years experience as an officer, and qualifies for the SWAT team…as the Sniper! You may think the sniper position goes to an old, fat guy who’s too out of shape to move quickly, but that wasn’t the case. He could run, jump, endure and sweat with the best of them.  He shot paper targets until he could hit the mark consistently from up close to a couple of hundred yards away…and he could take the shot accurately after exhausting physical exertion.  One more thing, he was the Department chaplain, and he was me!

In most police circles, SWAT is THE ELITE TEAM!  It is comprised of officers with regular job assignments who put in hours of extra time to be ready when “the call” comes! The sweat and stress is almost superhuman, and if tapped for the team, you’re almost “in heaven.” But, you ask: “Why would an ordained Chaplain be the sniper, since he’s the guy with the high-powered rifle who has the bad guy’s head in the scope’s crosshairs, just waiting to be told to pull the trigger and send him into eternity?” I had to ask and answer that question myself.  How could a man of God be able to execute a living, breathing, human being and then go home to a hot meal with his family?

All officers must be ready to use deadly force if the situation calls for it. With two exceptions, being a sniper is little different than other responsibilities cops are required to perform. When we are activated, we know the situation must be bad or deteriorating. Since a sniper may not be able to see the imminent threat, he must be ready to respond on command. Finally, like any other officer, the sniper will have to live with the outcome.

Think about this: “Who is better equipped to answer the call than someone who respects all humans as made in the image of God? I want to honor God in everything I do, even if it includes taking the life of a killer to save other innocent lives. Who is better qualified than someone so serious about the awesome responsibility that he or she works and trains harder, and prays seriously without ceasing?”  My goal is to be God’s instrument wherever he leads me, and that’s where he placed me for five years. Thankfully, I never had to take a life. But if asked to do so, I would have carried out the command under God’s authority.

“For I myself am a man under authority,”   Matthew 8:9

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

Dealing With a Hard Situation

Reverend Dean Kavouras, Chaplain–Cleveland Division Safety ForcesFederal Bureau of Investigation

When the first companies arrived, the house already was roiling in flames. Heroic efforts had been made, but a four-year-old – twin to a survivor – could not be saved. The attending officers and fire personnel were grim-faced: the loss of life in any fire is bad enough; the death of a child is very hard to take.

The remaining siblings – three girls ages seven through ten and unharmed – were taken to the Metro Health Center, and I went there also. Two trauma teams were working feverishly to save an infant and the other twin. At that point the girls and other family members knew nothing of the deaths of an adult male and the twin.

What came next was informing the family of the deaths and the extreme critical condition of the other two. After the doctor informed the adults and the initial shock wore off, I led those present in prayer. Their pastor, a very godly man, had been called, and informed the girls. I was impressed with his gentleness, loving care and ability to give them a divine perspective on what had happened. As he prayed with them, both fire and police officers present reverently bowed their heads.

Then the father of the twins, who as yet knew nothing about the incident, arrived. Once more it was my responsibility to inform him, doing my best to comfort him with prayer and a sense of God’s presence.

It had been a ragged night. I thought of Psalm 145:9: The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Silently I prayed and asked God to comfort, strengthen and bless those who suffered loss that night, and be a shield for fire and police officers as they carry out their responsibilities with courage and compassion. Dealing with situations like this is hard, and could not be accomplished without the Lord. I thank him for his presence, and the privilege and honor of being a ministering servant when his children are in great need.

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God”.   Isaiah 40:1 (KJV)

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

Teaching Our Next Generation

Officer Mark Dennis,–Franklin LA Police Department

We live in a violent society. Fights and domestic disturbances are a normal part of a policeman’s job. After an elderly woman and a mentally retarded man in our town were bludgeoned to death with a hammer, the murderers turned out to be 16 and 18-year-old boys.

As in too many cases, a godly example had not been set for these boys by their parents, especially their fathers. When children see “so-called adults” cursing, fighting and being arrested, you have to wonder what they must think. In their minds they must be saying: “So this is what it means to be an adult – cursing, fighting, smoking dope, and disrespecting everyone around you.” As an officer I can tell you that by the time they are 13, 14 or 15 years old they have it down pat. For many, it is only a matter of time until they too are “adults” who are arrested and sit in a jail cell.

The Bible teaches us that Christian parents are to live a different life style.  Deuteronomy 6:5-7 states: You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart and soul and strength. And these words I command to you today shall be in your heart, You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the way, when you lie down and get up. In other words, Christian parenting is a daily responsibility.

When I told my son about the murders and those responsible, we talked about things he and I do together. He quickly realized the truth of what I said: those boys had thrown their lives away and lost their freedom. Joy was gone from their lives. As a police officer I deal constantly with the consequences of sin; as a Christian father I have the awesome task to help prepare my children for godly living. God help me not to fail!

“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.”  Psalm 145:4

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

My Best Christmas Gift

Captain J.L Francis (Deceased)–Chattanooga TN Police Department

I had just left the range and stopped by the City pharmacy. It was the afternoon before Christmas Eve, the weather was cold and bitter, and there were a million things that needed to be done. At the pharmacy a middle-aged woman had been watching me and I thought: “How can I slip past her?” I walked toward the door, intentionally not making eye contact. She stood back until I was ready to leave, and then stepped into my path and asked if she could talk to me. She started with, “You don’t remember me, do you?”  I said “no,” and asked if we could step outside the building. I was still thinking “escape,” and that was a few steps closer to my car in the parking lot! I looked at her name tag (“Janice”), and then her story started.

She shared how just over five years ago she had broken into a young college student’s car. I worked the case, chased and located her, and arrested her in some apartments near the school. Continuing her story, Janice started to cry as she said: “You stopped and prayed with me when you caught me.” That night, she confessed to nearly ten vehicle burglaries. The Holy Spirit used that moment of arrest to direct her to a Bible-believing church where she accepted Jesus as her personal saviour. She has been clean five years, works for the City and helps others with their drug abuse problems!

Wow! We stood outside on the sidewalk, hugging, crying and praising! People passing by on foot and in cars were a bit puzzled! Soon, my hectic schedule and unfinished shopping did not matter! Here the whole reason of Christmas was revealed: God sending his Son to die for us, to save us and to make a difference in our lives. I couldn’t wait to call my wife and share this with her!

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching…”  2 Timothy 4:2

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

Called to be a Policeman

Patrolman L.H–Illinois Policeman

As I drove into the parking lot, Craig had gotten out of his car and headed for his open trunk. Inside was a loaded revolver with which he planned to kill himself.  We had received a late night domestic disturbance call from his wife, and Craig left home after that call. His solution was to take his life. After a conversation filled with screaming, silence and tears, Craig finally agreed to accept my offer to take him to a hospital. Against department practice, I drove him there myself. After what we’d been through together, it seemed right. At the hospital I proudly walked him into the emergency room, and left him with the professionals.  I figured that was the last time I’d ever see him.

Months later I found myself mindlessly driving my beat. I was in one of those funks, wondering why I continued to be “The Police.”  No matter what I did, it was never enough. Day-after-day we deal with the same crimes, problems, and tragedies – it’s never-ending. Perhaps it was time to leave police work.

As I reached a busy downtown intersection filled with pedestrians, I saw a man in a suit crazily waving his arms in the air. Pessimistically I thought: “Now what dramatic crisis am I about to get dragged into?” Drawing closer, I saw it was Craig…with tears in his eyes and a huge smile on his face. I pulled over. He didn’t know my name, but said he’d been looking for me for months. He was filled with joy and enthusiasm! He wanted me to know he’d spend three-months in a substance abuse facility. He was an active member in an alcohol abuse support group, where he regularly told new members how I saved his life in the nick of time that evening. Life at home with his wife and family was good, and his job was going great. He very much wanted to thank me for those several minutes which changed his life!

God has a way of reminding us of his presence in our lives. For some it’s the song of a bird, the solitude of a mountain valley or the birth of a baby. For me, it was that “chance” reunion with Craig. Just as I had helped clear up doubt, anger and confusion in his life, God used Craig to do the same for me. God reminded me that I was called into policing for men like Craig and the others I serve. I still have “ups and downs,” but I continue unwavering in the profession to which I was called.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”   Colossians 3:23

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

“God Will Bless You Someday!’

Patrol Deputy Jared McCord–Oklahoma County OK Sheriff’s Office

November 28, 2008 began like any other normal day for me. I woke up, got ready for work, kissed my wife and kids good bye and left. Later a call came concerning an accident with injury in Jones, Oklahoma. Going there I was met by Jones officer Lt. Kenneth “Kenny” Ray. While he worked the accident, I directed traffic.  About 30 minutes later as I was leaving he said five words that will stick with me the rest of my life: “God will bless you someday!”

Four days later I began to discover what he meant. I received a call that a car had fallen and pinned a man underneath. Another Deputy, a City of Luther Police Officer and I arrived about the same time. When we saw the car resting on top of a man, we knew we didn’t have time to waste. I got on one side with the other deputy on the other, and we lifted the car enough for the Luther Police officer to pull the man out. To this day we don’t know how we lifted all that weight! Then we discovered that the man under the car was Kenny. Not finding a pulse, we started CPR as fast and hard as we could. We all knew Kenny and wanted nothing less than to save his life. We continued working on him until medical help and a Medi-flight arrived. Finally they said Kenny had a heartbeat and flew him to the hospital. Our joy was short-lived however, for an hour later we were told he didn’t make it. I kept asking “why?” How could God have allowed us to bring his heartbeat back and then let him die.

At his funeral one of his best friends thanked me for doing all I had for Kenny, but I still didn’t understand. As I saw it, I hadn’t done anything for Kenny. Weeks later I saw the friend again and asked him what he had meant. The friend asked: “Did you ever hear Kenny say, “God will bless you someday?” When I said” yes” he said: “God brought you to Kenny when he was dying and all alone. God gave you the opportunity to help him live long enough for his family to gather around him and tell him goodbye. God blessed you, him and them with those extra few hours of life.” My day still starts the way it always did, but now I tell people “God will bless you someday.”  You never know when you will need to be blessed or who you can bless.

“Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth; he who takes an oath in the land will swear by the God of truth. For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes. Isaiah 65:16

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

Humility in Action

Dr. Mary Glenn, Chaplain–Alhambra CA Police Department

Philippians 2:1-11 had always been one of my most favorite Bible passages. It describes the sacrificial nature of Jesus and our call to follow his example of servant leadership. For me verse eight, “he humbled himself and became obedient to death,” aptly describes what police officers are willing to do.

When I began serving as a police chaplain ten years was when I first saw “servant leadership” being modeled by many officers. In fact, they have taught me more about servant-and-sacrificial leadership than anyone else. Even officers who are not of faith understand and espouse servant leadership. On countless occasions, officers have put themselves in harm’s way for my safety as I rode with them. As they put on their uniform at the beginning of their shift, they mentally have committed to do what it takes to ensure the good and protection of others.

About five years ago, I was riding with an officer to the home of a woman where I had been before. She was mentally unstable, and her abuse of alcohol further confused her mental state even more. When we arrived, she had barricaded herself inside her home and refused to come out. Because she had threatened to kill herself, several officers had been called to the scene. Because of my previous contact with her, I was able to talk to her through the door and build a certain level of rapport. I had convinced her to come out, but when she opened the door and saw all the officers, she came straight for me, ready to take me down. (She realized the officers were going to arrest her and probably take her in for a 72-hour psychiatric hold for testing.) The officer standing next to me immediately put me behind him, making sure that I was protected. Then he stopped the woman from harming anyone, including herself. That quick act of response and sacrifice forcefully brought to my mind the selflessness Jesus modeled.

Being a police chaplain is an honor and a privilege. Not only am I able to minister to those who serve and protect me, but the officers teach me daily how to live a more Jesus-like life.

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant.” Matthew 23:11 (The Message)

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

I Stepped on His toes!

Constable Merv Tippe, (Ret.)–Regina, Saskatchewan

In the academy we are taught to be respectful, say “yes sir” or “no ‘ma’am” and “remember you are there to protect and serve.” Some situations require a little extra!

When you’re the only law officer in a rural town and back-up is miles away, you hope to avoid major problems. But one night on patrol I received a dispatch to be on the lookout for a green 1972 Chevrolet.  Earlier the vehicle had almost struck another car head-on, and it was felt the driver was impaired.

About an hour later a vehicle matching that description went by me in the opposite direction. I made a U-turn and pulled the vehicle over after a short distance. There were six occupants in the car, and the driver showed obvious signs of having consumed alcohol. There also was a strong smell of liquor emanating from the vehicle.

The driver cooperated when asked to exit his car and get in the rear seat of mine. I asked him for a breath sample, which he agreed to provide. However, he asked if the one person who had drunk mostly coke that evening could be allowed to drive the vehicle to his residence. That seemed like a reasonable request, but when I went back to his car the five others had exited the vehicle against my commands and encircled me.

When they asked what I planned to do with their friend, I told them. Then one of the fellows said: “There are five of us and only one of you; what if we won’t let you do that? You seem to be shaking a little bit, Mr. Policeman, are you afraid?” To be honest, I was a little concerned for my safety so I prayed a quick prayer that God would give me words which would convince them to back down.

Looking the spokesman right in the eyes, I stepped forward – stepping on the toes of his left foot – got my nose as close to his face as I felt safe to do and said: “No, I am not afraid, but I do shake a bit when I get mad!” At that the fellow said to the others: “Let’s just get in the car and get out of here!”

Sometimes I joke about that instance saying, “Only God and the lady who did my laundry know how that affected me!” To say the least, as I walked back to my patrol car I was very relieved that the Lord had come through.

“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”   Psalm 40:4

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

Praying Me Through!

Bill Hubbard, Executive Police Officer–Taos NM Police Department

Cops are people too! We mow lawns, run errands, and fix leaky faucets –typical family and homeowners “stuff.”  This particular Saturday I was to drive my elderly father some distance to a fellowship breakfast, while my wife planned a weekend “reading and prayer retreat” in a condo in southern Colorado.  God had other plans for me.

At 5:00 a.m. the telephone rang. There had been a Halloween drive-by homicide – a 19-year old girl had been hit by a high-powered rifle round through the window, killing her instantly. From descriptions received, we associated the crime with two known gang-bangers. Marked units from three agencies spread throughout the county. At daybreak, I called my dad – no trip. He’d heard it all before…his son is a cop.

As the day dragged on the scene was photographed and evidence tagged and collected.  The Medical Examiner’s Office came to take charge of the body. With their scene work complete, the crime scene team packed up and headed to the office to tag and book their evidence, then start on the paperwork. That is, all but me. Something inside of me said to “check out an address in the boonies where the suspects might be,” so I headed in that direction… Alone…Stupid me!

We were pretty sure the suspects had headed south to the Big City two hours away, but I didn’t want to make that drive if it wasn’t necessary. It didn’t hurt to look! Unbelievably, in the middle of nowhere, I found the main suspect walking down a dirt road! As I “cuffed and stuffed him” all I could think about was, “Where is Number Two with his high-powered rifle?”  With Number One handcuffed and in my back seat I called for help, took cover and waited for backup. When they arrived we rushed a nearby trailer and found Number Two asleep in a back bedroom.

While a deputy was typing up a warrant to search their hideout, my cell phone rang. It was my wife: “I’ve been reading my book and praying for you!” I explained what had happened, and we compared the times of her prayers; she had been praying for me at the exact time I had found and taken down the prime suspect!  There was power in Debbie’s prayers, even though she was praying about the trip with my dad.  Do I believe in the power of prayer? “Yes!” As it says in Mark 11:24whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”   Psalm 91:11

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

My Dream Job

Officer Andrea Brandt, No. 801–DFW TX Airport Police

It might not be for some, but being a police officer is my dream job! At 27 years old I had a college degree, a wonderful boyfriend (now my husband) and a decent job.  Life was going well except for one thing – I didn’t have fulfilment at work or a sense of purpose.  My Aunt, Uncle and many cousins had been peace officers, and are the heroes in my life. That, plus the common bond we have in Christ, makes for joyful family occasions. I had thought for years about being a cop, and after much prayer I decided to apply; I know God called me to it!

It was a long process, but the day finally came when I was hired at DFW. Our force of several hundred officers is greater than that of many good-sized towns, and we deal with an incredible variety of circumstances. At the beginning of my career, my uncle gave me this advice: learn, help someone and have some fun! It is amazing how these words of wisdom have worked out in practice. I quickly realized the craziness of police work – fun times, scary times and the joy and sadness seen every day at a busy airport.

One evening while I was directing traffic, a little white-haired lady who works in the terminal’s golf pro shop needed help starting her car. As I walked her to her vehicle, I learned her name and found out she was 80-years old! She told me she and her husband had been golfers, and he had recently passed away. She had worked in the golf shop for years, and still needed to keep busy.  We talked about how wonderful her marriage had been, and she told me to enjoy the times my husband and I have together. Ever since that night I have checked on her, even inviting her to join my entire family for Thanksgiving dinner. Later, my husband and I helped her move.  Yes, policing is my dream job! Through it, God gave me the special opportunity to meet someone I might never have known otherwise. In turn, she has become a special friend. What an awesome responsibility we have as Officers!

“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.”  I Timothy 5:3

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street  

James

Lt. Jeff Braley–Hamilton Township OH Police

The first time I met James he was lying in a ditch; his right leg severed from his torso and lying above his head. He also had a hole in his right lower back larger than a softball. At the time I believed all my fellow officer, Chris Wall, and I could do was stay there and comfort him until he died.

His father’s car had died and, being 16 and strong, he had gotten out to push the vehicle.  It was dark, and another juvenile had driven up too quickly and hit the back of his car. After being shoved under the car, he was thrown into the ditch where we found him. As medics worked hard and family arrived, James looked up at Chris and me and asked, “Are you saved?” He spoke of the love of Christ, and his only other concern was for the other driver.  He focused on expressing concern and love for us all till he was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

I continued to call the hospital asking about him and always getting the same response: “He’s hanging in there.” A few days later I went to the hospital, partly for the investigation, but mostly just to see him. He awoke for only a short time, but I remember being overcome by hearing him say to me: “Hang in there; I know God has very special plans for you.”  I knew it was by God’s hand he had survived.

Sometime later it was a very slow incident day on the street, and I was in the office when our clerk said to me: “There’s someone up front who wants to see you.” By her smile I knew something was going on. When I opened the door I could not believe my eyes; there sat James with his brand new prosthetic leg. We spoke of golf and many things, but his message was one of joy, gratitude, and the love of God that this young man possessed.  I have now been to his high school graduation and a family party afterward. My memory of that day will forever be his smile and the love for all he continued to express.

As a Christian officer, every day of my career I rely on my faith and the grace of God. Never have I met anyone who exemplified faith, courage and love more than James. He truly is a strong soldier for Christ.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street 

“We Need You”

Chaplain Terry Hallman–Law Enforcement Chaplains of Tuscaloosa County, AL.

After my abdominal surgery on Monday, the doctor said “No driving for five days.” As badly as it hurt just to take a deep breath, I didn’t have a problem with that! But early Thursday my phone rang.  It was the Chief Deputy.  After answering with a weak “hello,” I heard him urgently say:  “Chaplain, we need you”! With a shaky voice he told me a deputy’s six-year old daughter had just died, and the family was at the emergency room!  All I could think was: “Lord, help me,” I’ve got to go!” With my wife’s help I dressed, then drove to the hospital.

The hospital’s law enforcement parking area was filled with Sheriff’s cars. Hurriedly I entered, and quickly found the deputy and his wife. On the table was their beautiful daughter, her face still in the repose of death. When the deputy saw me he rose to his feet and made his way toward me with tears streaming down his face, collapsing onto my shoulders. We wept and prayed together, then I stood by their side until the child was taken away.

Back in the Family Waiting Room was a host of caring comrades in arms, waiting, praying and showing their support for their brother and fellow officer. Though three hours had passed, by the grace of God I had been able to be there for this family and my department during their most tragic time. I was weak and drained, but praising God for allowing me to be his ministering servant. Most of us serve without pay, and feel honored to do so.

In this age of so-called “separation of church and state,” there are some who question whether governmental agencies should allow chaplains. In spite of protests like that, our Courts have determined that people in high-stress work – like law enforcement and the military – need “spiritual succor and support.” Walk a few days in any chaplain’s shoes, and you soon come to understand why. We think of the term “protect and serve” as relating to sworn officers; my job also is to “protect and serve” these fine men and women as they deal with the stress in their lives.

“Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.”  Proverbs 25:13

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

The Sophomore Jinx

Officer Pete Bone–Carpentersville IL Police Department

Sometimes, during an officer’s “sophomore year,” he or she can get a feeling of entitlement.  We’re in our second year, have “been there and done that,” are working on our own and handling an impossible job all by ourselves. In our arrogance we can see everybody as either an idiot or a moron. We’ve got life all figured out, an attitude which can permeate both work and home life. Unfortunately, that year can be “jinxed!”

As a High School senior I wanted to be a cop, so I got my college degree in Law Enforcement. While awaiting acceptance as an officer I worked at an outdoor theatre. One night, walking four abreast with fellow employees to our parking lot, we were run down by a drunk driver. One friend was killed, and my right leg snapped in half. After many months of surgeries and rehab, I was more determined than ever to attain my goal.  Finally, a department northwest of Chicago hired me! As a new rookie I had a strong sense of right and wrong with a true desire to serve and protect.  I looked for every opportunity to demonstrate my new police knowledge and authority.  I married my fiancé, bought a home and life was complete. Then the “jinx” struck! I began to take my wife for granted, even treating her like people on the street.  I viewed life through a secular prism.  Eight years later my wife decided I didn’t love her and asked for a divorce; I was stunned and devastated.

Through the next six years we kept in contact, watching each other go downhill. My life spiraled out of control with binge drinking, gambling and severe depression. Several times I sat with a gun in my mouth feeling suicide was a valid option. Finally God brought back into my life a long-time friend who had become a Christian. During the times we met over the next several months, he subtly shared Christ’s message of redemption and salvation. About this same time I learned that my ex-wife had become a Christian, and she invited me to attend her baptism. We began to attend church together and I, too, surrendered my life to Christ. We remarried in 2006, no longer sophomores but a couple which had been matured by Christ. My life at work also changed as I exchanged my “secular prism” for a Christian one. As hard as it sometimes is, I now try to view each person as a special creation by God.  He has made me a new creature!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

If We Help Save a Single Life

Sergeant Galen SmidtSioux Falls SD Police Department

A busy summer was coming to an end, and I was looking forward to some quieter months ahead.  It was Friday night, September 28. I was home preparing for a relaxing weekend when my phone rang at 9:30 P.M. The shift supervisor told me there had been a fiery crash with fatalities, and was requesting our Crash Reconstruction Team. It had been a busy year of fatalities, and the call-outs were becoming wearying. However, even after 15 years experience, I had an uneasy feeling that this accident was going to be different.

After making necessary calls, I went to the scene of a head-on crash involving a sports car and a full-size pickup truck. The car exploded into a fiery inferno on impact, killing two teenagers in the sports car. Their burned bodies were still in the car. As I examined them and authorized their removal, I couldn’t help but think of my two teenage boys and grade school daughter back safe at home. Just then the parents of the deceased 15-year old girl arrived unexpectedly on the scene. One of my officers attempted the impossible task of trying to console them. As difficult as it is to deliver a death notice to parents at their home, it is absolutely devastating at the scene of a crash – especially one as gruesome as this. Of all the accidents I’ve worked, I always will carry the sight of those charred remains in my memory.

After that horrific incident, my Traffic Team used the experience to initiate a Careless Teen Driving Presentation. It since has been given to thousands of students. We may never know how successful we have been, but if we have prevented even one major crash, that will have made a difference.

We’re supposed to be “tough,” but accidents like that one greatly affect law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the job causes far too many divorces, alcoholism, and personal problems because officers don’t know how to deal with them. My team and I handled this one by turning it into a positive training tool. But the real secret to surviving the job is to make God Number One in your life. Through perseverance and his grace, that’s what my family and I are committed to do.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You.”  Isaiah 26:3

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

“I Need Directions, Sir”

Anonymous

I was working in the Prisoner Transport Unit, picking up arrested subjects from all over the County when I was dispatched to a local high school. There I picked up a 17-year old arrested by the School Resource Officer (SRO) for breaking into a car on campus.

The student was a clean-cut, young African-American teenager who didn’t seem to fit the mold of the typical teen burglar.  He was nicely dressed, polite and well-spoken.  As the SRO and I walked him out to my transport van, we talked to him about what it would take to put this incident behind him and stay out of trouble.  We explained that once he turned 18 a felony arrest like this possibly could limit his options for educational opportunities and careers.

In the van and headed toward the Juvenile Detention Center, I planned to pick up another young offender.  During the trip he asked me something, but the noise level was too high to hear him very well. I turned down my police radio and asked him to repeat what he said. I was shocked at his question: “Sir, can you tell me how I can know the right path to take in life.” I was surprised by two things:

  • The seriousness of the question he asked, especially since we’d only met ten minutes earlier, and
  • That a young African-American teenager would ask an older white cop such a significant question.

Almost immediately I recognized this was a God-given opportunity to reach out to this young man with the gospel.

I knew we would arrive early at the place where I was picking up the other juvenile so I told him, “As soon as we stop I’ll come back and give you the answer,” and that’s what I did.  He listened intently as I went through the truths of God’s holiness, man’s sin, Christ’s death for sinners and our need to repent and trust Christ. He didn’t make a profession of salvation that day, but it was exciting to be used by God to share the gospel. It was clear this young man was seeking a way to escape from the path he was on, not knowing that the problem he and every man must resolve is the sin which eternally separates them from God.  In the world of law enforcement most criminals live in open rebellion against God, His law and the police officers who are His ordained authorities. However, God can soften hearts even of criminals, making them willing to listen and providing opportunities for believers to share the life-changing gospel.

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.”   Psalm 119:9

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street 

Adapted from “A Brief Respite from Hell”

Written September 13, 2001

Lt. Stan Kid–Malverne, NY, Nassau County Police Dept.

“I spent last night and most of today digging through twisted steel, cement chunks, airplane parts and personal belongings. The only way to describe it is like hell. Even in daylight Ground Zero is somewhat dark due to the smoke and dust – plus the awful-smelling air. I thought of a Batman movie, with its eerie, gothic, dark view of Gotham City. It is also a construction site – heavy equipment beep-beeping and roaring, and hard-hat workers everywhere – like one of those excavations in the city with windows cut in the plywood walls so you can watch the crews at work.

“My five men and I joined many others who were removing debris and seeking survivors or bodies. In addition to First Responders and military personnel there were also civilians–union men and women–carpenters, engineers, plumbers, steel workers, electricians, construction workers and the Salvation Army.  Teens volunteered to bring food, water, fruit and candy. We all worked together in impromptu teams seeking both the living and the dead.

“At one point a Firefighter began screaming frantically; he and two Marines thought they saw a hand waving from a partially toppled building. Apparatus was brought and firefighters went up in a bucket. One firefighter kept screaming ‘hurry up.’ No use, it was just a bit of insulation blowing in the breeze. We all moved on, disappointed.

“This morning a construction worker cried out, ‘We have two!’ The roar of the crowd was deafening! Calls went out: ‘Water!’ ‘Back boards!’ They made their way up the line. ‘We need a canine unit!’  Labs were brought, followed by medical personnel. The feeling was incredible!  In an hour they were brought out – in bright orange body bags. I can’t begin to describe the disappointment and terrible silence. The bags were passed down the same line as the equipment had gone up, as tenderly and carefully as if they had been living souls. Before my day was over, we got five firefighters out from under the rubble. Only two walked out on their own. Whether living or dead, each brought inexpressible emotions.

“The men and woman who worked after 9/11 are true heroes, and I’m so very proud to have worked alongside in their very substantial shadows.  Hundreds upon hundreds came together with no concern for occupation, race, color, sex or creed. We saw each other as brothers and sisters, all dealing with an unthinkable tragedy…and we kept going until the job was done.”

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

The Switcheroo Didn’t Work

Detective/Sergeant Ingrid Dean–Michigan State Police

Field training days over, I was patrolling on my own. Over my radio I hear: “Be on the lookout for an older model Chevrolet, Michigan Plate XXXXX, etc.” I’m only half-listening. “Driver pulled out of ABC Bank after attempting to send a bomb through the money-chute at a drive-up window!” Now I’m listening more closely. “The teller sent the bomb back to the driver!” I think: “Wow, that was a smart move!”

My “gut feelings” tell me to head toward the bank, so I do – feeling “every bell and whistle going off.” I see the car turn into a motel parking lot. I pull in behind him, then drive out another exit, pretending that I’ve taken a shortcut. I look at the license plate.  Yep, that’s the car alright! I remember not to key my radio if a bomb is nearby, as I could detonate the bomb.  So I use my walky-talky:“Central, I have the vehicle in sight; it just pulled into the Sierra Motel.” With that, I wait for the backup unit. When he arrives, we pull up behind the suspect, who has gotten out of his car and is standing by the driver’s door.

I look at the license plate again…the numbers are different. I’m thinking: “My first day on patrol and I’ve misread the plate; this isn’t the right car!” I’m thinking, “How can I minimize my mistake and not look so bad in front of this seasoned officer?” I get out of my car. The veteran officer looks at me and says: “This is the car, isn’t it? The plate is different.” I manage to squeak out: “I think so,” but I’m thinking: “How could I screw up so badly and see numbers that aren’t there? They’ll think you’re a nut!” To my astonishment the back-officer confronts the guy and says, “You are under arrest!” I was horrified! This could be a false arrest. Then through the car window we see the bank bag, and the backup officer says: “There’s our evidence!” Our search of the vehicle reveals cocaine, scales…and the original license plate! Bad guys can switch plates in seconds!

I believe in divine grace: when you do the best you can, God takes care of you.  Somehow the back-up officer read my mind.  He smiled and said: “Never second-guess yourself on this job.  If you saw it, you saw it.  Trust yourself.  Trust God.  When you really make a mistake, you’ll know it.” I felt bare-naked as I stood there listening to him, but he was right.  “In God we Trust.”  

“…when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,  they resorted to a ruse…”  Joshua 9:3

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street 

Suicide…or Life?

Jason Everett–Rolling Meadows IL Police Department

Suicide is never the right answer – for the individual, their loved ones, the community or the police. Suicide is the one form of death in which the police always are involved, and it’s a heart-wrenching experience.

A local street gang member I’ve had to deal with since early in my career attempted suicide, and I was one of the officers who responded.  We found him naked at the top of the stairs leading to his apartment.  He was screaming that he was going to kill all of us, and advanced toward us ignoring all commands.  At his mother’s request but against his wishes, we were compelled to commit him to the hospital. He had attempted to kill himself with alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and over-the-counter pain medication.

A couple of days later I picked him up at the hospital to take him to the station for booking.  I wanted to talk to him about his destructive behaviour, but he refused.  My primary concern was not the criminal charges, which were relatively minor, but his mental health.  He had a wife and very young son, and was destroying their lives along with his own. To break the silence I finally said: “I really got to know way too much of you the other night, and there are some parts of your body you should not be showing off in public.”  He looked at me, chuckled, and said he was too far out of it that night to remember much.

From that point on I was able to speak at length with him about the responsibilities of being a good father for his child, a good husband to his wife, and the need to seek help for his addiction.  A week later I confirmed that he had contacted a number of recovery services.  I would like to report that today he is clean and sober with a good family life, but he is not.  What I can say is that for the first time in eight years he is addressing his problems, and has taken a major step in the right direction.  As the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” I did what I could, I “spoke the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   John 8:32

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

 “Oh Shoot, He’s Gonna Be OK!”

Captain Mark Edwards (Ret.)–Plainfield NJ Police Division

When he said that, I knew I’d survive – but what damage had been done? That night I was working my regular extra job at Burger King, when a quiet evening turned deadly. An armed robbery had taken place nearby, and the suspect was heading my way. Officers in two marked cars, the suspect and I converged in the parking lot almost simultaneously. To let the officers know where I was – and hoping to stop the suspect – I yelled “Police! Halt!” With that, he fired in the direction of two officers who had exited their car. I moved to my left to clear their field, monitoring where I thought the suspect might head, and he did! When he saw me, he raised his gun. I thought: “Here we go!” I went into a squat stance, and we exchanged fire. Suddenly I felt like I’d been struck in the head with a bat and thought: “He hit me, now I’m really mad!” I got off one more round and tried to break my stance to help the others pursue him, but fell to the ground. I felt wet hair on my head, and found my hand dripping with blood. “Not good,” I thought: “a head wound usually ranges from extremely damaging to fatal.” When I checked my other body parts, they seemed to be in working order. I retrieved my gun from about eight feet away, holstered it and witnessed the final standoff from where I lay: the suspect lost! Head wounds really bleed, and the sight of me lying quietly in a pool of blood was not encouraging to my rescuers.  A paramedic friend said: “Mark, how many fingers do you see on my hand? Raising my head and seeing all five fingers, I said: “One short of a half-dozen.” Then he said: “Oh shoot, he’s gonna be OK!”

If you survive, one thing about being an “officer down” is the solicitous treatment by emergency personnel. Once in ER, the doctor found I’d been hit twice. There was a lot of blood but no penetration, and it took a lot of scraping to remove the lead deposit smears on the skull. I was released that night. My wife had been brought to the hospital, and officers sent to the house to watch our two young sons. Out daughter had been babysitting. When she came home and saw the police cars, she was traumatized – refused to discuss it for years. But God is good: I survived, and my frazzled daughter, now a mom, had a daughter born on the 9th anniversary date of the shooting.

There is no god besides me…I have wounded and I will heal,

Deuteronomy 32:39

Produced with permission from Mr Grant Wolf – Cops on the Street

They Took the Bullets for Us

Chaplain Peter Hansen–Chico CA Police Department

When a chaplain’s phone rings near midnight, it’s never good.  Two sheriff’s deputies had been murdered in the remote town of Inskip, and my SWAT team had been called. I was to drive the Salvation Army Emergency Canteen uphill to the crime scene so officers could refresh themselves during the long hours ahead. Water, coffee, snack items and a place for officers to relax during an unsolved mystery is welcome, and I was glad to help.

I’d never driven the huge rig, the size of a UPS truck, and it took an hour of intense driving in the pitch dark on narrowing roads. Finally we arrived at our destination, a lodge with a tiny cabin at a distance. Inside the cabin lay the bodies of the two Butte County deputies, a young man in his twenties and a 61-year-old. They had responded to the lodge keeper’s urgent call for help after a tenant had pistol-whipped him for his gun.

The eerie night dragged on like a slow, strange dream. Our SWAT team manned the perimeter for the Butte County Sheriff’s Department, who entered the cabin, carefully preserving evidence of the violent shootout. Spent gun shells were everywhere, as were the bodies of the two deputies and their killer, shot by the senior deputy.

It is hard to understand why anyone would massacre another human, especially two innocent law enforcement officers simply doing their job. One had hardly begun his career; the other could have retired any time. They came as peacemakers, never expecting an ambush. Blinded by entering the pitch-dark cabin from the blazing sun outside, they never saw the man who took their lives. He was a time bomb waiting to explode, and the deputies took his wrath at the cost of their lives. They “took the bullet” for us, just as Jesus did at Calvary where he willingly “took the bullet” for you and for me.”

At 7:15 a.m., as the Chico unit was to descend, we gathered to debrief. I was asked to close with prayer: Father, we thank you for officers like these two men and their fellow soldiers who come to our defense. Please be with their families from this day forward, and cause us to remember how fleeting life is. Just as your son died for an eternal purpose, help us to find purpose in these deaths – to know they did not die in vain. Amen.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”   James 4:14

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Often the only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. TobyMac
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For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16
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Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
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