Category Archives: sheriff

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.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Merry Christmas

First, I again want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs, Officers, Administrators, and fellow Chaplains who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. For those of you in stations or cars working during the holidays, we appreciate the sacrifices you and your family are making while ensuring our safety and security. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.

It’s that time of the year again. The Holidays can be a source of wonderful joy. I look forward every year to having some down time, spending time with my family, and going back to my home town to see more of my family. And there’s always a stop (or two or three!) at a police station or fire house to spread more of my support.  It’s a time of traditions. Most of us have them, though yours and mine are likely different. I know that some of you reading this will be working those days. Some of you volunteered so the department newlywed can have that first Christmas with his new bride or the new father with his newborn on Christmas morning. Some of you will be busy at work when I crawl out of bed on Christmas morning, or will hear the tones drop multiple times that night. Some of you will do it in freezing temperatures, and others will do it in warm ones. You will change your holiday schedule and family time around your work, and may not even think about it because “That’s what I do.” As a Chaplain, I’ve been privileged to see some of what goes on “behind the scenes”. I hear the stories and see the sacrifice. Lots of us do. Don’t ever forget that. But if you do, you know where to find me. So, do Doc a favor this Christmas. Have a great time. Be with people you love during the Holidays. Find some time to relax. Do something that makes YOU happy. Sit and enjoy some warm cocoa, or a cold drink (a good raspberry tea is my drink of choice) and enjoy it. You deal with the bad enough. Find some good and soak in as much as you can.

During the holidays, I always put in this information, because I know that someone may need it. The holidays are meant to be times of joy, happiness, time with those we love and hope. While it can produce stress for even the best of us, for some of you can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well. I also know that it’s hard for us to reach out sometimes (and I’m no exception to this rule). If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, and any other Supervisor available for help. There is also other Clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. My phone is always on and I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, send an email. Reach out if you need to.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for 2014. 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.

Please distribute to all Police, Fire, and EMS personnel – Happy Thanksgiving

First, I again want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs, Officers, Administrators and fellow Chaplains who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.

I hope you find this email helpful and encouraging. This email marks five years that I have been sending out these emails on the holidays. So whether this is your first time reading, or you’ve been on board since the beginning, welcome. I’d like to take this time to reflect on some of the things I’m thankful for at this time.

I will say that this has been a life-changing experience for me. In the last five years, you have taught me more about life (and even myself) than I thought possible. This all started by just wanting to say “Thanks” to a group of local folks who I thought were under-appreciated. And over time, that “mission” has evolved and broadened, and broadening me with it. For that, I say Thank you.

I say “Thank you” for picking up some meals. Thank you for inviting me into your homes. Thank you for opening up and telling me what you really thought about the job (It’s hard, you don’t like the hours, you are lonely on the holidays.) Thank you for not sheltering me from the bad, from the disasters, from the politics, and from the things that make your job so difficult. Thank you for telling me that is OK to feel anger at the kidnapping suspect, for saying it’s OK to vent with you later. Thank you for also telling me that a death notification is very hard, emotional, and draining and it’s OK to go outside “for some air”. Thank you for showing me you are human. That you get angry, hurt or depressed. Thank you for allowing me to see your emotions at the funeral. And for those who knew when my wife was in the hospital, and for sending the cards, thoughts, calls and prayers.

For those of you whom I have never met “in person”, you have not been any less appreciated and impactful. Thank you for showing me that even in your department’s worst times, you take the time to drop a nice email or call me. Thank you for trusting someone (whom you may never meet) enough to read and pass along my notes. Thank you for giving me insight into what it’s like policing in Alaska, or working a fire crew in Maui.

Thank you I can now understand better what you feel, and as a chaplain, that’s what helps me be able to help you. And last but not least, thank you for showing me that the “Thin Blue Line”, “Thin Red Line” and the “Thin White line” are not just images or ideas. They are a reality and a symbol of what is good in the world.

Finally, as we approach “the holidays”, I usually advise that the holidays can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, other supervisors, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, or send an email. Reach out if you need to. Life is a battle best fought with others.

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

Line of Duty deaths from history recently honored by ODMP.

The Officer Down Memorial Pages teamed up with researchers from across the county tirelessly look for officers who were killed in the line of duty and not honored at the National and sometimes state level. So when someone is found and verified, they are posted on the Recent Historical Additions page.

Thes officer’s dedication to duty, even in the face of danger, gives them honor, even today, even those gone over 100 years ago. Continue to rest in peace, Kentucky heroes.


Christian County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Robert H. Coffey
Christian County Sheriff’s Office, KY
EOW: Saturday, October 26, 1901
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Green County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Marhall E. Henley
Green County Sheriff’s Office, KY
EOW: Saturday, July 7, 1883
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Policeman James C. Coldiron
Lynch Police Department, KY
EOW: Friday, July 15, 1921
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Chief of Police William R. Holcomb
Lynch Police Department, KY
EOW: Friday, July 15, 1921
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Knott County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Adam Smith
Knott County Sheriff’s Department, KY
EOW: Thursday, April 11, 1935
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Harlan County Police Department, Kentucky

Patrolman Melvin Gregory
Harlan County Police Department, KY
EOW: Tuesday, August 26, 1924
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Harlan County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Jesse Peters
Harlan County Sheriff’s Department, KY
EOW: Saturday, June 30, 1923
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Bell County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff Jim Collins
Bell County Sheriff’s Department, KY
EOW: Wednesday, July 4, 1923
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Pike County Constable's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Constable Cline Tackett
Pike County Constable’s Office, KY
EOW: Sunday, June 16, 1935
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Knox County Constable's Office, Kentucky

Constable Brock Sizemore
Knox County Constable’s Office, KY
EOW: Tuesday, November 3, 1936
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Slaughtersville Marshal's Office, Kentucky

Deputy Marshal Ren Ashby
Slaughtersville Marshal’s Office, KY
EOW: Thursday, December 22, 1898
Cause of Death: Gunfire


Louisville and Nashville Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

Detective Green Rose
Louisville and Nashville Railroad Police Department, RR
EOW: Wednesday, March 29, 1911
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Ride Along Tips I’ve collected

As a citizen, I’ve been in ride alongs with 10 different departments. A lot depends on the officer, the department, and what is going on. I’ve got out of the vehicle on some traffic stops and walked up behind the officer. I’ve been in the house for cardiac arrest (let me say, that it’s not a “rush” seeing a dead body, and to see a grieving wife of 50 years fall apart when a husband’s heart won’t restart is heartbreaking). I’ve helped clarify what offence the driver committed. But I’ve been in a car for a few hours before a cop trusts me enough to open up.

Here are a few tips that seem to help me out. If you are a member of a police department and would like to use these for prospective riders, feel free.

1. Before you ride, ask about how the department wants you to dress. (Jeans or slacks, etc)

2. Don’t drink a lot of fluids before you go.

3. Ask questions, but don’t appear to be nosy.

4. Ask non-threatening questions to gauge their state of mind (How long you been with this dept, etc).

5. Some cops will tell you what they’ve seen, but as a rule I DON’T ask about worst calls, etc (some may be trying to forget).

6. When you stop at a gas station, restaurant, etc, go to the restroom. You may be on a call soon and not have an opportunity.

7. If you are not on an active call and you need to go, just ask. Cops are human too.

8. Keep your eyes open. A missing plate may seem minor, but it may lead to anything.

9. Know what to do if it goes wrong. This is a piece of advice one of my officers gave me. (Here are the lights, here is the radio, and our call # is….and pay attention to the protocol used when talking to dispatch)

10. Along the previous lines, if you don’t know ASK. It seems to let the officer know that you’re not in a bubble and that you are concerned that THEY go home safe too.

11. Always know where you are. If something goes wrong, YOU could be the difference between life and death.

12. Some have a meal routine, some do not. If they do, flow with it. Some only get 30 minutes, so keep that in mind.

13. While you are riding, you represent that officer, and that department. Don’t get into debates with anyone; be polite, courteous even if others are not.

14. While riding with one officer I was given an officer discount. If you are offered one, make sure they understand you are not an officer. DON’T ASK FOR ONE.

Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel – 9/11/2011

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

First, I want to say 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.

Greetings to you as we head toward September 11th. Soon we will mark the tenth anniversary of one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history. As a Nation, we watched in horror as our feelings of safety and security were shattered. We felt hopeless to help. But some did. Firefighters and Officers suited up, looked at the outcome of evil, and did what they had to do. 412 heroes gave their lives that day. In the ten years since then numerous others have died with a 9/11 related illness. A line that I have quoted before describes them well. “All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.”

Many of you reading this note were doing your job that day. While you may have been hundreds of miles away, the sting you felt was something you may never forget. You too look at evil’s outcome each day you prepare for work. In each of my emails, I always hope to let you know that there are people who not only support you, but care about you and your safety. There are people who stand up for your rights, even in the face of what can be a negative public perception at times. And sometimes I also want to give you something to think about.

Safety. YOUR safety. It is said that “forewarned is forearmed”. Advance warning provides an advantage. Sometimes, you need all the advantage you can get.

– Everyone knows about wearing seat belts. Do you always wear them?

– Wearing your protective gear (vests, fire suits, etc.) Do you wear them every time?

– A topic that was recently covered at lawofficer.com was driving at a safe speed when responding to a call. Do we always keep that in mind?

– Training is different for agencies depending on a variety of factors. Do you take advantage of the training available? Do you view materials like the “Below 100” campaign for LEO’s or the various fire safety articles for you firefighters out there?

– Protective gloves. Do you wear them when doing first aid and when dealing with blood?

– Line of Duty deaths happen for various reason, at various times, with numerous factors. Do you review them to see if there is something you can take away from the situation? What was the cause and what could YOU do differently to see a better outcome?

Never forget that you are appreciated. Never forget that you are looked up to by countless people. Never forget that every time you put on that uniform, you are making a difference to someone.

I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Happy Fourth of July

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

First, I want to say 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.

Greetings to you and Happy Forth of July.

Free. It’s a great word. Most of us like free stuff. Free meals. Free drinks. “Buy 1 get one free”. Why does “free” feel so good to us? Partly because we get to receive a benefit from something that was paid for (at some level) by someone else.

A common phrase that we hear about this time goes to the effect of “Freedom may be free, but it certainly isn’t cheap.” It’s during this time that we think about the price that someone else paid so that we could experience “free”.

We think of those in military service. Those who serve home and abroad, hundreds or thousands of miles from home. Who may live closer to the enemy that they do their families.

We think about our Founding Fathers, who sacrificed, fought, challenged, and even died to stand up to tyranny. Those who stood up and said “Give me liberty or give me death!”

But sometimes, you are forgotten about. You may say that you’re not a hero…”not like those guys overseas”. One thing that I’ve gathered from talking to some of you, the word “hero” is not something you consider yourself to be. “I’m just doing my job” one officer told me. A firefighter once told me “I just put out fires. No big deal.” It’s a job. It’s another day in the city. Another day on the truck. Nothing particularly heroic.

You enable us to be free and safe here at home. We have seen what life has to offer. Sometimes, it’s just plain rotten. That’s where you come in. I’ve had cars stolen and had officers come out and do what they can to make it better for me. And when my wife was in a serious crash a couple of years ago, I have an officer greet me and let me know what happened, what to expect, and where to go next. All the while, EMS was stabilizing and safely transporting her. Then when I was in an accident, I had EMS come and check me to make sure I was OK. At times that were bad for me, they were there to calm, help and do what they could for me. You’ve done that for countless people in much worse situations. I could cite many more examples, but I try to keep this brief. My family is safe because you are there. I don’t have to worry about what time it is, day or night, because you are there. I can be free because you are there.

Never forget that you are appreciated. Never forget that you are looked up to by countless people. Never forget that every time you put on that uniform, you are making a difference to someone.

I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do. I wish a happy Fourth of July to each and every one of you.