Monthly Archives: April 2014

Distribution: Please distribute to all law enforcement personnel – Police Week 2014

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 can’t personally shake your hands or buy you lunch. I can, however, let you know that people DO care. This message is being read by departments of all shapes and sizes. To each of you, welcome. I know you’re busy and you do a lot to get ready for your shift. So thank you for reading.

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”. We are going into a time of remembrance. There will be local, state and national memorials. Locations may vary from the front of the building, in restaurants, pubs or the national memorial in Washington D.C. It’s a time to remember our fallen and to honor their courage and sacrifice. I think one of the best way to honor them, is to live better lives ourselves.

I was watching a video last week where a motivational speaker was talking about the speech below. It is a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, and I think it is very fitting for you to remember. You have a job where you are constantly second-guessed by the public. So read this quote and let it soak in.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I’ve been privileged to see some of the “inner workings” of what goes on, good and bad. But you are out there doing the job every day. You are out there in the “dust and sweat and blood” doing what you do best. And the secret that some of you don’t let out is this: Sometimes the dragon wins. Sometimes despite out best efforts, things go wrong. Despite all the efforts, there are still DUI’s, meth labs and domestics to go to. But do you give up? No way! You keep pushing back the darkness. You keep attacking evil, even in its home court! You keep going to the same house and pulling someone out who is high, drunk or beating on someone else. You keep up the pressure. That’s what I call someone who “spends himself in a worthy cause”. We might never see the end of the evil that people inflict on others, but that doesn’t keep us from fighting, and that’s why you are amazing.

In closing, some of you will be heading to Washington for the National Memorial, and I hope for a safe trip. Others are going because you know someone being added to the wall. My thoughts and prayers are with you for safety, as well as healing. But for all of you, I hope and pray that not only will the week be safe, but the rest of the year as well. I hope there is an outpouring of appreciation from 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.

An open letter to a Dispatcher

While I was getting some thoughts for my next email (for Police Week 2014) that will be going out in a week or so, I felt the need to stop and converse for a minute on some people who are really special to me.

For those of you who know my story know how it started. Here is the basic story that I tell “This began while I was thinking on the events of 9/11 in 2008. One of the last “moment of silence” was for the fire fighter that was the last survivor removed. During that moment, a gratitude for our law enforcement and fire crews really “came to life” so to speak. That evening I called my local department (Huber Heights, OH) on 9/11 and asked if they could let the officers and fire fighters know my appreciation for them. I was informed that they had not had that request in over 14 years. So that’s when I decided that I would reach as many as I could and let them know they are cared about.”

What seems to both of us like a moment of candor and honesty, has turned into a real life purpose for me. It’s been said that there are two great days in your life. When you are born, and when you figure out WHY you were born. That day really started the journey for me to figure out WHY I was born. When I talked to the dispatcher that night, it really came alive in me. Now, 750 departments hear from me. I’m a Chaplain for a few Police Departments directly and available to others as mutual aid. I’ve been in hospitals, funerals, more ride alongs that anyone I know and my life is dramatically different now. I won’t say who it is since I didn’t get her permission, but I have told her on a few occasions what that conversation meant to me that day. My life has been changed forever. Who did God use? It wasn’t a friend, or even a minister. It was a Dispatcher.

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. A time when we express our gratitude to those who are behind the mics and phones telling us all what to do and where to go. I’ve sat in the HHPD dispatch for a while on a couple of occasions. I hear them in action every time I’m in one of our cars. I know that we are in good hands when I hear their voices. They are just plain awesome.

I want to give shout outs to another dispatch too. Now I’ve heard lots, but in a trying time, these voices kept it all together. When I went to Menifee County after the tornadoes in 2012, I rode with the Sheriff’s Office there. Even in the middle of all kinds of stuff going on, the Menifee County dispatch team was on top of it. Here’s the picture: It’s two days after the touchdown. We have 2 people confirmed dead, and damages to numerous residences. Power lines still lay in some roads and the National Guard was blocking off the worst hit area. It is 10 PM at night, getting colder. On top of all this, opposite side of the county, a domestic violence call. Then it started snowing. All this going on, and the lone dispatcher was holding the county together. She was in control. And even though some of this area had just been through hell, you’d never know it to her the radio transmissions. I was amazed.

SO to all my dispatcher friends (and readers) out there, never forget that you are AWESOME. Never forget that YOU can make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. You are the voice we count on. You may not get enough credit for what you do, but it does not go un-noticed. So, if any of you guys ever need anything, you let Doc know.