The numbers are scary. 41 deaths nationwide this year, up 78% from last year. This brings a total of 20,101 documented deaths in the Line of Duty. It’s been a rough year for officers everywhere. Here in Ohio, we have lost 4 this year in the “Line of Duty”, 2 of those this week.
Chief of Police Carl Worley – Ross Township Police – January 26, 2010
Trooper Andrew C. Baldridge – Ohio State Highway Patrol – February 4, 2010
Police Officer Thomas Patton II – Cleveland Heights Police – March 13, 2010
Patrolman James Kerstetter – Elyria Police – March 15, 2010
I’m asking all my friends and family to pray! Please pray for our police officers, sheriffs, deputies, and troopers. Please pray for their safety and well-being. Pray that the violence that is planned against them will cease (that “no weapon formed against them will prosper”). Pray for peace in our communities. Pray for safety on the highways. Pray that they can eat meals and attend services in peace. Pray that not one officer out there feels alone or forsaken.
So in honor of the Ohio heroes I post a poem that has touched the hearts of officers and supporters, The Final Inspection:
The officer stood and faced his God.
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, Officer,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To your church have you been true?”
The officer squared his shoulders and said,
” No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because all of us who carry badges
Can’t always be a saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough,
And sometimes I’ve been violent
Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny
That wasn’t mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got way too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I’ve wept an unmanly tear.
I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.
If you’ve a place for me here,
Lord, it needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t… I’ll understand!
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints have often trod.
As the officer waited quietly
For the judgment of his GOD
“Step forward now, Officer.
You’ve borne your burdens well
Come walk a beat on heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in hell”