Thanks Officer

Published on Nov 22nd, 2017 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Thanks Officer

Thanks Officer As a Police Chaplain I am sometimes called out to the scene where someone has died. I try my best to fulfill my role and to serve the family and the officers at the scene. The officers are always very professional and do a great job interacting with the family, being respectful of the deceased, and taking care of what needs to be done officially. I am guessing that we are usually on scene for about two and a half hours. The other day, as we drove away I was struck by the sadness of the whole affair. I felt compassion and empathy for the surviving family. I was moved by the shortness of the note left behind. The decision had been made. There was not much more to say. I also realized that I was done for the day. I was going to go to my office, check my messages, and then go home. As I drove away I found myself following two of the police cars and watched as they went two different ways. It was at that moment that I was struck by how hard their jobs are. They were not going home. They were going to finish their shift. I found myself praying for them and asking God to give them a quiet rest of shift.

So many scenarios began to run through my mind. How hard would it be if they received another call about another death? How patient could they be if they had to pull someone over and that person decided to be belligerent? How large of a headache would I have if I had to go settle peace between two warring neighbors (a call they received while on the scene)? Being a police officer is a tremendously tough job. That is an understatement. Yet, they will get up tomorrow and face the same pressures that they faced today. They will do this for their whole career.

Here is what I have noticed while on scene. It is what got my mind moving in the direction that I have been sharing. Each officer does their job with respect and efficiency. As we wait for the coroner there is usually downtime. I have observed one police officer on his phone speaking to someone in his family (I later learned it was his marine son). A couple of other officers chat about this and that. Some laughter, some shooting the breeze, and some silence. I also notice that each police officer goes and spends some time with the deceased man’s family. They truly are concerned about serving the family. They also take the time to share with me what they are doing (so that I can learn) and each time they share with me, they express, in one way or another, how sad it all is. It is interesting to see them live life, deal with death, to be affected by it, and yet compartmentalize it also. It is a lot for a human being to deal with each day.

I am praying that God will give greater opportunities of ministry in the lives of these officers. I am also praying that you and I will gain greater insight into how much these men and women really give to our communities. I grateful for their lives. I know that some snap and allow the evil they face to overcome them. They do things that are unbecoming a police officer. But many more face each day with courage, perseverance, and a desire to help their community. Let’s honor them and respect them each day.

I had this small opportunity to observe our police. I would encourage others who have insight into those who serve as firefighters, EMT’s, military, nurses etc. to continue to write about their bravery and their hearts of service.

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