October 2014 – Volume 3 – Issue 10
In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul says: “The things you have heard and seen in me, these entrust to faithful men who will teach others also.”
The application of this verse is being played out in healthy doses around the county. New officers are eagerly learning the challenges of their career as they are paired up for training with veteran officers. The exchange is a very healthy process for both parties. I am glad for the healthy buzz and newness of life. Last year we were able to initiate support and encouragement to six new officers, and we are on track to initiate relationships with 20 in 2014!
Most new cops make a career in law enforcement to help people. As the months turn into years, they can easily become hardened and cynical. When dealing with the drama and chaos of the world every day, it’s pretty hard not to get tainted. The simple fact that cops hear more “f-you” than “thank you” is enough to make anybody a bit jaded.
It is the goal of Code 7 to come alongside our public servants and remind them that God cares for them as individuals and that the service they provide does not go unnoticed. By spending time with the officers in their office (patrol car), I am are present to hear the story of their lives and be an encourager for them to keep up the good fight. I am honored to be a part of that support system and to have your support for me.
Within the past month I have been blessed to travel to Ventura and Sacramento to attend training. Both police departments I serve recognize the value of what I do and have sponsored training that has refreshed and enhanced my skills. I love the opportunity to learn with other chaplains and hear their success stories too. I am now better prepared to meet the needs of the officers. Thank you, Chula Vista and National City Police Departments, for sending me.
I was recently invited to a Use of Force Workshop at National City Police. Flanked by news reporters and local business owners, I went through a series of five role-playing scenarios where I was challenged with police stresses and needed to determine how much force to use. We were outfitted with Kevlar vests, face shields, duty belts, training guns, simulated tazers, and (fake) pepper spray for our training.
Since the actors were law enforcement and the scenarios live, we were forced to make real-time decisions through situations the officers had encountered. Together as participants we celebrated victories and suffered defeats (being shot by air soft pellets) but all walked away having a greater understanding of the dangers of law enforcement and the split-second judgments cops must make. We also learned that our observation skills and verbal judo are key components to effective police work.
There are no “do-overs” in life when it comes to pulling the trigger, nor is there a “take two” after realizing you should have been more aggressive. Police respond to a variety of calls every day and find themselves in volatile confrontations and potentially deadly situations. They put their lives on the line for us every day and for that, they deserve our respect.
Below is a link to NBC 7/39 news reporter Liberty Zabala’s news segment. I was her partner for one of the roll plays where she got shot – sorry partner!
Please pray for your local law enforcement and their families. They need our support in their lives.
Founder/Chaplain Code 7
Relationships are more important than personal accomplishments. D.S.