I hope this newsletter finds you in good health and in the peace of God.
The past two months have been a whirlwind of ministry and support to the people group for which Code 7 is committed to caring.
Here are some words and sentiments that describe this difficult season. Some words are mine, others are terms I heard from police officers and their families: shock, disillusion, fear, courage, disappointment, sadness, disbelief, care, support, encouragement, God, hugs, tears, grief, anxiety, stress, anger, appreciation, rollercoaster, sheepdog, blue pride, chaplain, faith, overcome, family, thankfulness. That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?
Please remember to pray for our local police officers and their families. If you remember to pray for our cops every time you eat (your Code 7), you will probably find yourself praying for our police three times each day. Wouldn’t that be nice!
International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC)
I ventured out with my friend and fellow police chaplain Chuck Price (SDPD & ECPD) for the annual ICPC training held in Albuquerque NM, July 2016. It is always a good time of reconnecting with chaplains across the US, learning new information and getting refreshers on well-established principles. As we traveled to NM, we couldn’t avoid the topic of what had just happened three days prior in Dallas. We talked about how devastating it must be for the department to have not only one, but five officers killed on the same day. The pain the brothers in blue were feeling was beyond our understanding.
Dallas, TX Trip
Both Chuck and I felt compelled to attend the funeral service in Dallas, even though we were in New Mexico during all of the funerals. So we changed our flights (more than once) and were able to attend Dallas Sgt. Smith’s beautiful Memorial Service with roughly 4,000 other law enforcement personnel in uniform.
I shared many deep conversations with Chuck during our trip together to NM and TX. We reminded each other how blessed we are to have a great network of chaplains in San Diego and how much we both consider it an honor to be helping our police agencies. We talked about how glad we were to have the San Diego County Chaplains Association where we can call on each other for help and grow together as a community of chaplains serving the law enforcement community. We pledged our support to one another, should the need ever arise in all departments.
11-99 Officers Down
After just a few days back home in San Diego, chilling words iced through our veins: “11-99, officer down.” Words don’t adequately describe the sickness that comes over a chaplain when he hears that news. The news was broadcasting that two SDPD officers had been shot! Chuck had been riding along earlier in the evening with the SDPD Gang unit. He was called back out to help the family of his personal friend and gang unit officer shot and killed in the line of duty. The next 10 plus days were a blur. The fog is just starting to lift, but it will be a long while before anyone can really see clearly again. LINK: SDPD Police Officer Death
I attended Officer Jonathan JD DeGuzman’s Memorial Service. It was a daylong event. A procession from Qualcomm Stadium to Shadow Mountain Church and following the service a procession to Glen Abbey, which is my own backyard. Chuck did an excellent job. Everything about the memorial was so well done. LINK: San Diego Honors Slain SDPD Officer De Guzman
PRAYERS AND CANDLES
Many, many people were involved and impacted as a result of the death. A SDPD Sgt. from church asked me to help with a prayer vigil and candlelight at the neighborhood park of the officer service one afternoon. As I quickly agreed, I had no idea it would turn into an event that included 200 neighbors, the Mayor, CV Chief of Police, and a score of media trucks. The fatherless family attended the prayer vigil. I would rather never have my face on the news for that type of assistance, so no pictures are attached here. Please also pray for Officer Wade Irwin as he recovers from his gunshot wound he sustained during the incident.
I don’t know how to describe what is happening in our nation with the words that haven’t already been uttered by many. I just say, thank you to the peacemakers.
special thank you to Code 7 sponsors Jersey Mike’s (Raul), Bj’s Brewhouse (Josh), Chick-fil-A (Mandy), and Donny’s Cafe for answering your phones last minute and being willing to donate meals at a moment’s notice as an encouragement to our local officers in the midst of the tragedy. Thank you also to those that sent extra financial gifts that allowed me to travel and support the officers and their families monetarily during this season of hostility and grief.
107th Police Academy Graduation
Next week I hope to be in attendance to celebrate the 107th regional police academy graduation. Brave and courageous men and women still do desire to serve in law enforcement. Good still wins over evil. I pray God will strengthen the resolve of each graduate and protect him or her as they serve their communities. Congratulations to all who endured.
All these events remind us that every day is a gift from God. Those serving through law enforcement are subject to life and death situations daily. Their spiritual and emotional survival is our utmost priority. Thank you for your interest and support of Code 7.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9