Monthly Archives: April 2011

Distribution: Please distribute to all law enforcement personnel – Police Week 2011

As always, I want to say thank you to everyone 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 you, the reader. I cannot personally give you a pat on the back or buy you lunch. However, I can let you know that people DO care.

May 15-21 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”.

During this note, I would like to talk a bit about significance. Significance can be a very broad term, and like beauty, it can be in “the eye of the beholder”. Actions that I take may or may not be viewed as significant to employers, friends, or family; even though I think they are significant. The adverse is also true. Something that I think is insignificant may be very significant to someone else.

So how does that affect you as a Police Officer? I have ridden with and heard from numerous officers who fight this battle. They feel unappreciated. They feel that the community is looking for reasons to harp on them. Bottom line – they do not feel significant.

We as humans don’t have the full picture. What you see as giving directions to a lost motorist, may have enabled them to see a loved one for the last time, or the birth of a new child. By giving that kid at McDonalds a sticker or a toy badge, may have given them their first view of a cop – and made a supporter for life. Checking in on the dog bite victim even after your part of the case is done, showed that little boy that cops need not be feared, but are there to help. The little things that we consider insignificant may not have changed the world, but it changed someone’s world. Whether you are in a small town, big city, or something in between, you have likely made impact on people you are not aware of, and possibly may never know. So I want to encourage you as you read this.

I could go on for pages about why your job is significant, and why YOU are significant. But you have things to do, so I tried to be brief (If you’d like me to expound further drop me a note). For all the officers out there reading this, Dr. Mike is praying for a peaceful week for you. Safe traffic stops. I hope people see you in restaurants and pay for your food. I pray for a time of healing for the departments reading this who have had a loss in the last year. I pray that those of you making the trip to Washington will have a safe trip. For those who are making the trip to the wall to honor a fallen brother, I pray for safety and healing. But most of all, I hope there is an outpouring of appreciation form the communities that you serve.

In closing, thank you 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.

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How baseball and Jackie Robinson teach us about life.

I have 2 stories to share today. In case you didn’t know, today in 1947 Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. First, here’s the story behind it as related by Red Barber, the great announcer.

Note: There is one word that is offensive if used today. Red was telling the story as it happened at that time.


“In March of 1945, Mr. Rickey told me in confidence that only the board of directors of the ball club knew and only his family knew, and now I was going to know that he was going to bring a black player to the white [Brooklyn] Dodgers.

And Mr. Rickey said that going back to when he was the baseball coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, he took the team to play a series down at South Bend, Indiana with Notre Dame, and he said, “My best player was my catcher, and he was black. But,” said Mr. Rickey, “when we were registering the squad in the hotel, when the black player stepped up to sign the register, the clerk jerked the register back and said. ‘We don’t register niggers in this hotel.’” And Rickey remonstrated and said, “This is the baseball team from Ohio Wesleyan. We’re the guests of Notre Dame University.” He said, “I don’t care who you are. We don’t register niggers in this hotel.” Well,” Mr. Rickey said, “there are two beds in my room, aren’t there?’ And he said, “Yes.” “Well,” he says, “can’t he use one bed and not register?”

The clerk grudgingly allowed that to happen and Mr. Rickey took the key, handed it to the black player, and said, “You go up to the room and wait for me. Soon as I get the rest of the team settled, I’ll be up.”

Mr. Rickey said, “When I opened the door, here was this fine young man, sitting on the edge of his chair, and he was crying. And he was pulling at his hands, and he said, ‘Mr. Rickey, it’s my skin. If I could just tear it off, I’d be like everyone else.’”

And Mr. Rickey told me this day in March of 1945, he said, “In all these years I have heard that boy crying. And now,” he said, “I’m going to do something about it.” Red Barber, sports broadcaster”

(From “Inning 6: The National Pastime, 1940-1950”) Ken Burns Baseball)

Rickey had made huge contributions to baseball. Scouting, Minor Leagues, spring training, and numerous others. He could have rested on his accomplishments, but chose not to. He chose to fight. He had one last battle inside him and was determined to do it. I think you see the parallel here.

Life happens to us every day, and most days of our lives, in fact very few, will be moments that propel us into action. Moments that jump off the timelines of our life. The moments we were born for.

That was September 11, 2008 for me. When I heard that dispatcher tell me that she had not had anyone call in just to thank a cop for being there in over 10 years of work, that moment jumped off my timeline. So it’s become my mission to reach out to cops and firefighters and say “You ARE appreciated. You DO matter.” I can’t do alot. But I can do something.

What moment is significant in your life? What were you born to do?


Here’s a retelling of a story that Jackie reflected on much later. I don’t have the details, but if some of my baseball friends can fill in the blanks, let me know!

Jackie Robinson made history when he became the first black baseball player to break into the major leagues by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. Branch Rickey, owner of the Dodgers at that time, told Robinson, “It’ll be tough. You’re going to take abuse you never dreamed of. But if you’re willing to try, I’ll back you all the way.”

And Rickey was right. Jackie was abused verbally (not to mention physically by runners coming into second base). Racial slurs from the crowd and members of his own team, as well as from opponents, were standard fare.

One day, Robinson was having it particularly tough. He had booted two ground balls, and the boos were cascading over the diamond. In full view of thousands of spectators, Pee Wee Reese, the team captain and Dodger shortstop, walked over and put his arm around Jackie right in the middle of the game.

“That may have saved my career,” Robinson reflected later. “Pee Wee made me feel that I Belonged.”


The Bible admonishes us “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Pee Wee Reese offered support at a time in Jackie’s life that was crucial. I think most of us have had that person in our lives. The question is how to we be Pee Wee Reese for someone else? What can we do to make things better?