This Chaplain’s take on the events in Beavercreek

Warning: This is long.

Disclaimer: This is written as a perspective, not official guidance on the law or police procedures. If you have questions on your laws and ordinances, seek professional guidance. This article (nor its author) may not necessarily represent the opinions and thoughts of the Beavercreek Police Department (or any of its members), or the City of Beavercreek, or any agency the author is affiliated with.

By now most of us have seen the video of the shooting that took place in Wal-Mart in Beavercreek back in August. So for those of you who follow me, I want to clear up a few points in this article.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, here is how I come to the following conclusions. I’ve been around public safety since 2008 and a Chaplain since 2012. I’ve spent over 500 hours in a police cruiser with police. I have been in situations that I thought I might have to use a weapon in defense, or almost hit by a passing car in traffic. I have not come to these conclusions lightly, but I have used my training and experiences, experiences that I know most people do not have or understand.

1) This thing about the gun John Crawford was holding was a “toy” or a “BB Gun”. It was neither, it was an “air rifle”, which is very different. There is even a warning on the box “This is not a toy”, it was a MK-177 (.177 caliber) BB/Pellet Rifle, manufactured by Crosman. And while most reports are that it is unlikely that the MK-177 would kill a human, it “can kill squirrels, snakes, rabbits or small birds if aimed properly.” That being said, I think the fact some are overlooking is that the air rife he was holding was DESIGNED to look like it’s assault counter part.

2) That he was not “waiving it around or pointing it at people.” This is only sort of true. First, keep in mind that the video we see, Crawford is out of the picture for over two minutes according to the FBI. A lot can happen in two minutes they we might not be able to see. That being said, he was swinging the weapon around, alternating from pointed up to pointed down. So he WAS waiving it around.

3) “Ritchie should be charged”. Let’s set the stage for the 911 call. Now whether the caller did anything wrong or not it isn’t my call. However, to get a charge for abuse of 911, here is the snippet from the Ohio Revised Code.

(E) No person shall knowingly use the telephone number of a 9-1-1 system established under this chapter to report an emergency if the person knows that no emergency exists.
(F) No person shall knowingly use a 9-1-1 system for a purpose other than obtaining emergency service.

Now I’m not a legal expert, but it appears to get this charge to “stick” you would have to PROVE he called 911 knowing “that no emergency exists” or he was using it “for a purpose other than obtaining emergency service” . He may have thought it was real or there was an emergency at the time, and as long as that is the case, he did not abuse the 911 service. And based on the justice system we have, you are innocent until proven guilty. So what was Ritchie not charged? My conjecture is that given the law above, they can not prove he “abused 911″.

4) “Since the gun was not real, the Beavercreek officers should not have taken the action of assuming Crawford was armed and dangerous.” This is based on a faulty understanding of police tactics. There are two ways to look at this type of call. It can be considered “a man with a gun” or an “active shooter”. While the first can be dangerous, the latter is usually always dangerous to citizens and officers.

Let’s take for example that I am coming from /going to the gun range with a handgun. Places like Wal-Mart and Kroger do not prohibit me from having a firearm on the premises. So I walk in with my holstered firearm on my hip. Someone gets “scared” and calls 911 to report that I have a gun. At this time they are truly concerned and the local police dispatch to Wal-Mart. They see me and knowing my firearm is holstered and I am making no dangerous signs, they feel free to strike up a conversation, they may do nothing at all, or they may hang around for a little to see what I intend to do. For this scenario, I am “a man with a gun”.

An “active shooter” scenario is much different. The FBI defines it as this: “An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, and recent active shooter incidents have underscored the need for a coordinated response by law enforcement and others to save lives.” Now I am headed into a location for the specific reason of taking as many casualties as I can before I exit (usually suicide when they see cops closing in). Active shooters don’t care about money and negotiation is out. To them, the end game is already mapped out for them. The only way to save lives is to “eliminate the threat” before they have the chance to take/take more lives. We see what happens when we wait by looking at Columbine. The training of the day was to lock down the perimeter and wait for SWAT. We know now that costs way too many lives. Then it became a 4 man team (you have to wait for 3 other officers) then to a two-man team, and some places even talk about a solo officer taking out the threat.

So based on the information they had, they thought they were going into an active shooter situation. In which case the procedure is to confront and stop the threat.

In Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)
, the United States Supreme Court held that the “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

The Fourth Amendment “reasonableness” inquiry is whether the officers’ actions are “objectively reasonable” in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation. Pp. 490 U. S. 396-397.

Sergreant Darkow and Officer Williams both stated that Crawford was asked to put the weapon down and did not. However, even if that was not the case, if he thought he or someone else was in danger he had the legal right to use deadly force. Then the Grand Jury concluded that he did what he was trained to do and what a reasonable officer would do in the situation. So what we can not do is come behind an officer when more facts or testimony is out and judge based on what “we now know.”. The only thing relevant , based on the law, is the information the officers had at the time and whether or not that acted from the perspective of a “reasonable officer on the scene”. The Grand Jury, determining that fact, declined to charge the officers with any criminal act.

I hope this article is informative and help put the WalMart shooting in perspective.

If you are one of my LEO friends and you have additional thoughts, examples or clearification, please let me know and I’ll update the article.

What’s up with all the anti-cop stuff?

In the weeks since what happened in Ferguson, New York City, and here locally in Beavercreek, I’ve seen that police is a very polarizing issue. I’ve seen and heard lots of positive comments from people with my involvement with the “I Support the Beavercreek Police”, and from folks on Twitter and Facebook across the nation. However, I have seen some VERY negative comments, including personal attacks. I’ve been told I’m a “white supremacist, black lynching, hillbilly monster”, that I’m a murderer (because I support the officers in question) and that should just “rot in hell”.

So what is my take on some of the issues? For those of you who don’t know me, here is how I come to the following conclusions. I’ve been around public safety since 2008 and a Chaplain since 2012. I’ve spent over 500 hours in a police cruiser with police. I have been in situations that I thought I might have to use a weapon in defense, or almost hit by a passing car in traffic.

Complaint 1: “No one trusts the police” – Here is my “official” opinion. We can not cite low “trust” in police without taking a look at the broader picture, and this is what various police sources have been telling officers in the last few months (that I have seen) – people do not trust any form of government. The president has a low approval/trust rating. So does congress. So does state and local governments. And enforcement of the laws passed by these governments come down to one group of people. Most of us have seen the pictures from anti-police organizations with instance of abuse by police. (I’m not going to say that there are no bad cops, or that some do not follow procedure, or that none of them abuse their power.) However, for every one of those that I’ve seen I can produce at least twice as many of officers doing amazing things in their community. Buying meals, sports equipment, or furniture with their own money for people. Storied of officers adopting children of murder victims. I can also provide a list of names of the over 100 officers that die in the line of duty every year. And when you have cultures who wholesale teach (in word, deed or song) not only to not trust them but make heroes out of people who attack (physically or otherwise) then we have a huge problem. To clarify that statement, that is not a racial thing. There are places in the US (Eastern KY, Montana, etc) and groups like Sovereign Citizens who not only “don’t recognize” federal or state law enforcement, is cases like the Sovereign Citizens movement advocate the murder of Federal LEO’s.

Complaint 2: “Police don’t care about ‘public relations’ anymore” – No I’m not a strategy guy. I’ve never been to the academy. But very few departments have anyone dedicated to “public relations” because they are busy doing an increasingly harder job with increasingly few resources. There are some departments that I know that are so short-handed, that some officers work almost as much overtime as regular hours. So it’s rare that a department (especially local smaller ones) can afford to have an officer dedicated to the PR function. And some who do , they do it on their own time. They manage the department’s Facebook page at home. Some rural departments the officers do a 12 hour shift, and go home and repair their own cruiser. I’ve been in one.

Complaint 3: “The police is too militarized.” – We complain we cops get RE-ISSUED equipment from the military, but no one seems to care when they are driving Crown Vics that are 15 or 20 years old. I have been in them. We complain that they have “scary guns” (hey I’ve handled an M4 and that would qualify if it’s coming at me) but no one seems to notice that some are using far outdated weapons and in cases they are FAR out-gunned by the locals (good or bad) in the area. It’s called “parity of force”. The most common department cited is Ferguson, keep this in mind: They rolled in with those AFTER they are assaulted with rocks, guns, bricks and Molotov cocktails. “So if you up the ante against me, it will come back and bite you, because I am going home tonight to my family.” As for body armor and Kevlar, it has saved the lives of countless officers, so as far as I am concerned, they can wear it all they want. When I was in a disaster area for almost a week (Tornado ravaged KY) all the KSP, and local officers were in camouflage and had weapons like the M4. And no one complained except a few people and those who were trying to loot. And why wear camo? Because it is more durable and functional in high stress or high use incidents.

I’m sure there are more, but I wanted to touch the big ones, from a Chaplain’s perspective. Can departments do more? Sure. Can they appear less aggressive? Maybe. But I place my family’s safety way over my neighbor’s touchy feely experiences any day.

Thank you for reading and I hope you were able to glean from this article.

If you are one of my LEO friends and you have additional thoughts, examples or clearification, please let me know and I’ll update the article.

September 11th – Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day. Not until it’s happening. You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life, not until you’re right in the middle of it. The day you commit to something or someone. The day you get your heart broken. The day you meet your soul mate. The day you realize there’s not enough time, because you wanna live forever. Those are the biggest days. The perfect days. – Izzie Stevens, Grey’s Anatomy

September 11th. No one even needs to explain the hurt, pain, tragedy, fear or vulnerability. We lost just under 3000 citizens that day. We lost 343 Firefighters, 73 Law Enforcement officers, 1 chaplain, and other EMT’s, nurses, and other responders. We were undefeatable at home, or so we thought. To say it was a horrible day is an understatement.

However, there were good things that happened that day too. We joined together as a nation. We put aside our differences and stood up with one voice. We put aside out politics and stood on the steps of the Capital and sang “God Bless America”. We were Americans. We take the bad and keep going. We fight for what is right. We stand up for the defenseless. We experienced (no matter how brief) a sense of unity.

But personally, that day was huge for me. September 11, 2008 was the day that I decided to stand up for first responders. In 2008, during one of the moments of silence, a deep sence of appreciation for first responders swept over me. It started a chain of events that changed my life, and continues to do so even to this day. That evening I called the Huber Heights Police and asked the dispatcher (I didn’t have permission so I won’t mention her name, but I will never forget it) if she could let the officers and fire fighters know my that “a citizen of Huber Heights appreciated them being there.” I was informed that she had not had that request in over 13 years. So that’s when I decided that I would reach as many as I could and let them know they are cared about. Since then I’ve talked (in person and via email) to officers and firefighters from all over the country. I keep every email response and cherish them all. I’ve made some great friends, who I would have never known otherwise. My desire to just reach out to these people has changed me forever. I found MY place in the world.

But another major event happened, on the exact day of the tragedy. 9/11/2001 was my first date with a wonderful woman who, in less that a year, would become my wife. We talked on the phone a few times throughout the day. She asked if II wanted to postpone coming over. We didn’t. I thought that those people who gave so much would be happy that I found love. We ate together. We cried together. We held each other. Thirteen years later, we are still together. She’s supported me, even what at times she did not understand. She kept things running at home when I helped out in Kentucky after the tornadoes. She’s been a rock at times when I needed it. She’s put up with my craziness and immaturity. It’s been hard sometimes, I’m not going to lie to you. We’ve had our share of ups and downs. But we’re still hanging in there together. So I say it publicly and unashamed – I love my wife.

So today, take time to grieve what we’ve lost. Take time to remember those who gave their all. Take time to be with your families. Then get ready to “saddle up”, because America’s brighter days are still ahead. But we have work to do.

Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel – 9/11/2014

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say another thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance.

As I write this, Patriot Day is two weeks away. It is a day or remembrance for what we lost in the attacks on 9/11. Just under 3000 people lost their lives that day. 343 firefighters, 70 officers of the NYPD and PAPD, 8 private EMT’s and a K9 gave their lives that day and over 75 more since then due to “9/11 related illness”.

From time to time we all battle the “us versus them” feeling. Sometimes it’s when a shooting makes the national news. Sometimes it’s when we are trying to get enough funding to ensure we can operate safely and provide the best service we can. Sometimes, you just have a long day and wonder “does it really matter?” And that’s just the external weights that come with the job. I read an article by a nurse and thought an excerpt really applies here:

But I’m not alone. And it’s the people by my side that make me feel normal about this chaos that we live in. This peephole into reality, that only a few of us see… What choice do we have? This is our job. This is our life. Even if we quit it, it’s too late. Once you peep through that hole, you can’t pretend you haven’t seen it.

As Public Safety personnel, that is who we are. We battle the evil, we take the fight to the darkness, we stop destruction and we stop the bleeding. When I first started this in 2008, I thought the reason that you are awesome was because you battle the evil. But now I see, the battle is not what makes you awesome. What makes you awesome is that you get up, and do it. You help others fight the same fight. You share with others the tools you have. You go home, get rest and then you get up, and do it all again. You are the person by someone’s side, helping them feel normal in the midst of chaos. I’ve seen as you help that 90-year-old woman who never had an accident process what just happened. I’ve listened to how you feel about all the “politics”. I’ve been in the car weaving in and out of traffic so you can get there to save someone. I’ve seen how you keep that elderly person with dementia calm while we wait for medics to take her to the hospital. I’ve seen how you bandage the kid who was just the victim of the hit and run and tell him he is going to be OK and tell his parents that you “will find the person who did this.” You’ve stopped to make sure that Doc here is up to speed and is not in the dark.

So you may feel like you’re in a war. You may feel tired, or unimportant, or like giving up. I Just ask that you keep on going. You do more good that you realize and it matters to more people than you think. Really.

Thanks for reading, stay safe, and contact me if I can help you.

I’ve said it in every email. I’ve said it to the chiefs and administrators when I contact them. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Doc’s thoughts on suicide.

DISCLAIMER: If you are contemplating suicide, please call the Suicide Help line at 1-800-273-8255.

I am going to discuss a subject that no one likes to talk about. And relate it to a group that most people prefer to shun or ignore. And let you in on a dark secret I’ve held in my heart and a fight I’ve waged from before. This may be a hard read (and I am sure it will be a hard WRITE), but sometimes we have to speak up and “strike while the iron is hot” so to speak.

By this point, I am sure that you have heard about the death of Robin Williams. How he died too young (63), the impact he had made, or about the times that something he did deeply impacted someone’s life. One that got me moving early on was a line from Dead Poet’s Society “Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Do not be resigned to that. Break out! “

You’re going to hear a lot of commentators talk about depression, mental illness and how they relate to suicide and how they are different. But I’m not going to get to in depth in those areas. You may hear theological debates on “if it’s forgivable” or something like that. I’m not going there either. Determining who gets into Heaven is above my pay grade. What I do want to point out is the “peace” (or lack thereof) that comes with suicide.

I want to say that there is no “peace” in suicide. If you do not believe that, ask the survivors – the family and friends of those who took their own life. They have so many questions, and most they will never have an answer for. There is guilt (“Maybe I could have stopped it”, “If they had just told me”). In addition to the other normal emotions during a time of loss, there is a regret that they did not get to say their goodbyes.

And I’m sure that you have guessed the “group that most people prefer to shun or ignore” is the Law Enforcement community. According to statistics, an officer is 2-5 times more likely to be killed by themselves than they are by a suspect. They also tell us that over 30% of officers have thought about suicide at some point in their career, and that an officer is twice as likely to commit suicide on the night shift than any other shift.
We in the Miami Valley are not immune from these trends, having had one locally in the last few months. So how do we turn the tide?

1. Never assume that anyone is immune to it. Who thought Robin Williams would have taken his own life?
2. Know the signs of distress. If someone is openly talking about it, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.
3. If you (or someone you know) needs help, SEEK IT!

Let’s not allow this tragedy to be in vain. We watch out for each other on duty all the time. Watch out for this too.

Some of you may be thinking about it now. Life isn’t “worth it” anymore. No one cares about you. Your spouse is not speaking to you. You are “at the end of your rope”. One of my instructors in Bible School told this story.
Several years ago, my brother was allowed to witness an open-heart surgery. During the procedure, the patient’s heart had been stopped from beating. When it came time to restart it, despite repeated attempts, the medical staff was unable to cause the heart to beat again. Finally, although the patient was obviously unconscious, the surgeon leaned over and spoke into the patient’s ear, “We need your help. We cannot get your heart restarted. Tell your heart to start beating.” Incredibly, in that instant, the patient’s heart began to beat again!

Here is the dark secret I promised. At one point in my own life I have experienced some what I would call “mild depression”, and even thought about “ending it all”. (Do not be alarmed, it hasn’t been recently). And up until now I never really shared that with anyone. I was afraid of what people would think or what would happen I guess. But I’m a stronger person today thanks in part to those experiences, which is one of the reasons that the subject is still a soft spot in my heart.

So if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, talk to someone. You CAN be happy again. You CAN live life to the fullest. You can touch others with your story. You can tell your heart to “beat again”. So live! Reach out!
If I can help you in any way, contact me!

DISCLAIMER: If you are currently contemplating suicide, please call the Suicide Help line at 1-800-273-8255.

Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel: Happy Fourth of July

First let me apologize for the lateness of this message. As always, I want to say a big thank you to all who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance. I also want to thank each of you reading this. It’s always my goal that something said in these notes will encourage, inspire or uplift you in some way. I know you’re busy and you do a lot to get ready for your shift. So thank you for reading.

As we near the Fourth of July, Independence Day here in America, we take time to remember the sacrifices of those before us. Those who pledged “to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Writing some years after the events of the Revolutionary War, John Quincy Adams wrote, “Posterity, you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

But for those of us in and around public safety, we know that lots of people are not making “good use of it.” There are humans inflicting all manner of evil on each other and sometimes we feel as if we are not accomplishing anything. Not to mention storms and natural disasters. Sometimes we get “weary in well doing”. Sometimes we think we are not making a difference. Sometimes we almost give up. I know what that feels like.

I just finished World War Z with my son. It was a good movie, but I think I have a theory. It’s not zombies or smallpox or aliens or some weather disaster that will cause the world to disintegrate into chaos. I think it is growing darker as people care less. It grows darker as people stop looking out for each other. It grows darker as we hide in fear or self-preservation, or the less we speak out for truth, good, and justice. It grows darker as WE grow darker.

So what do we do? I know that you are out there “fighting the good fight”. Please know, I don’t say this lightly. I say this to some of the strongest people I know. I say it for people who I have seen with my own eyes fight all kinds of evil for a fellow officer, EMT, or firefighter. I just ask that you take courage and fight just a little harder. Fight for each other. Fight for what is right. Keep up that fight! Keep marching toward evil and fighting back the darkness! Are you tired? Feel hopeless? Reach out to a brother or sister. Reach out to a supervisor, chief or Chaplain. But whatever you do, don’t give up and don’t give in. If you need help, ASK. If you can give help, SPEAK UP.

That is what can change our world for the better. We are in this together.

In closing, as always, thank you so much for all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Police Week 2014 – Prayer points

Each year I post some prayer thoughts for Police Week. Most of this is taken from a note I did in 2012, but added some modifications each year. For all my law enforcement friends, spouses, and Chaplains: If you think of anything to add, let me know!

I’m asking all my friends to pray for our Police Officers this week more than any other. May 11-17 this year is Police Week. It was designated by President Kennedy in “recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws”. I’ve listed some “prayer targets” for each day. This is a work in progress, so as I find things or as other officers give me suggestions, I’ll update the list. Also, you will see some action “ideas”. The book of James tells us that “faith without works is dead.” So do something. Get involved. Be kind. Make a difference.

Romans 13:1-4 tells us “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”

Saturday 10th-Sunday 11th – Safe trips to DC, local memorials

Monday 12th – Community support for officers
-Prayer targets:
— Officers would be honored in the communities they serve.
– Officers would not be hated for doing their job-upholding the law and correcting law-breakers.
— Officers love simple tokens of appreciation. By their lunch when one is in the drive-thru behind you.
– When you see businesses giving officer discounts, let the manager/owner know that you appreciate that.
– Get involved. Call/visit your local police department (during business hours) and ask them what you can do to help.
– Post blue lights in your windows to show your respect for officers.
– Join/start a neighborhood watch.
– Greet them when you see them in public.

Tuesday 13th – Officer Safety
-Prayer targets:
— That no department would have to choose something else over officer safety due to small budgets.
– Officers would have wisdom and safety in all situations.
– Pray Isaiah 54:17 -No weapon formed against them shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against them in judgment will be condemned.
— Have your house number in a location where it can be seen in the event they need to respond to you.
– Only use 911 in cases of emergency.
– If you are stopped pull over as far to the right as possible so that, when the officer comes up to your widow, he or she won’t have to worry about being clipped by vehicles in the right lane.
– Do NOT get out of your car unless the officer asks you to do so.
– If a police car is coming behind you with its siren blaring or emergency lights flashing, pull over to the right safely and quickly.

Wednesday 14th – Officer families
Note: Officers have a higher rate of divorce than the general public.
-Prayer targets:
— That the families might know peace when their loved ones are on duty.
– That the families have understanding when the officer they love is under stress.
– That officers would be able to separate work and home, and that their families can support them in times of stress, and know that their stress is not directed to them.
— If you are fortunate enough to know a police officer, offer to babysit while they go out with their wives.
– If you know an officer and you can see he is having a rough time, just be available. They don’t have to tell you what’s going on, but they may need someone to talk to.
– If an officer tells you something in confidence, KEEP IT IN CONFIDENCE. Don’t tell the neighborhood that an officer is struggling in their marriage.
– Be good neighbors and human beings. How do you want people to treat YOUR family?

Thursday 15th – Officer Seclusion, isolation
-Prayer targets:
— That an officer will never feel isolated from his peers or superiors.
– That an officer will never feel like they are facing their struggles alone.
– Pray that God would send good and trustworthy friends into their lives.
— If you are fortunate enough to know a police officer, invite their family to your house for a cookout.
– When you see an officer, discretely and kindly ask if they would like you to pray for anything. And don’t be offended if you hear “No.”

Friday 16th – Mental stress, anxiety, suicides
Note: Most officers will shy away from talking about this. Officers are taught control from day one. If they are not in control, someone could die. When officers lose the ability to control their circumstances, self-doubt may set in. Officer suicides are two times higher than the general public.
-Prayer targets:
— That an officer will not struggle with self-doubt.
– That an officer will never feel like they are facing their struggles alone.
– Pray that departments would give good stress detection and suicide prevention programs.
– Pray that officers would always see a way through the pain and struggles they face.
– Ability to relax off-duty – Officers are human beings and need to rest.
— If you are fortunate enough to know a police officer, invite their family to your house for a cookout.
– If an officer tells you something in confidence, KEEP IT IN CONFIDENCE. Don’t tell the neighborhood that an officer is struggling in his marriage.
– When you see an officer, discretely and kindly ask if they would like you to pray for anything. And don’t be offended if you hear “No.”

Saturday 17th- Departments and families of 2013 Line of Duty deaths
Note: There were 105 deaths in the “Line of Duty” in 2013 (Not including 17 K9 officers). Over 90 departments across the United States will honor names added to “the wall” in DC.
-Prayer targets:
— That officers and families would experience healing from the pain of their loss.
– That departments would develop programs for support before they are needed.
– Pray that officers would not experience “survivor’s guilt” .
— Contact your local police department/Sheriff’s office to see if they have any memorial events. Attend them.
– If your local dept has memorial gardens, plaques, or stones, visit them. They died protecting you and your family.