Subject: Our Police Force: Godly examples of servants who protect us
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
When you ask little children what they want to be when they grow up, the #1 choice is secret agent. Not far behind: policeman. Being a policeman ranks higher in children’s’ minds then firefighter, professional athlete, even President. Kids know that it’s our policemen who “keep bad guys away”. They are their heroes who serve and protect them.
Since 1963, the motto “To Protect and to Serve” has been kept before every officer in training at the Police Academy as their purpose for their chosen profession. This week’s article honors police officers throughout our country, with special emphasis on the memories of New York City Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos who were ambushed and shot point-blank in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, for no other reason than as stated by New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton: “They were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform and the responsibility they embraced: to keep the people of this city safe.” Here are some inspiring stories of our police officers that make us all thank God they take their motto of protecting and serving us so seriously.
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” Officer Thomas Jurgens was trained as a medic in the Army before becoming a police officer. On September 11, 2001 he was inside the first tower of the World Trade Center when he was warned by radio transmission to get out as fast as he could because the tower’s structural integrity was failing. The last transmission from Jurgens was simple: “There are people here who need our help.” He died in the tower collapse.
Psalm 82:4 “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” On February 14, 2007, Salt Lake City Police Officer Kenneth Hammond was off duty, having Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife, when he heard gunshots from the nearby Trolley Square shopping mall. He told his wife to call the police as he rushed to the scene. An 18-year old gunman, wearing a trench coat and brandishing a shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol, calmly entered the mall and immediately murdered five people. Five other people were then shot in a gift shop. Hammond quickly found the gunman and fired on him. Other officers reached the scene. The gunman, who also had a backpack loaded with ammunition, was killed. If Hammond hadn’t sprang into action, many more people would be dead.
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” On May 1, 1983, Lee’s Summit suffered its only loss of a police officer on duty when Officer David Hartman drowned. Heavy rains pushed the Little Blue River to flash flood levels, trapping a canoer clinging to a tree after his canoe capsized. A member of Lee Summit’s Underwater Rescue and Recovery unit, David immediately responded to the scene. As he swam out to the man on a safety line, another officer had gotten stuck in the current and David tried to help him. That’s when a log moving at over 20 mph struck him. He lost consciousness and went under water. Rescue divers pulled him from the river. He was air-lifted to the hospital, where he died. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral. The city of Lee’s Summit dedicated the adult sports complex at Legacy Park in his name, and his picture is on a monument at the entrance to the Lee’s Summit Police Department, with the inscription “Who gave his life for his fellow man.”
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” On December 5, 2014, NYPD officer Brian Kinkaid was called to drive an elderly woman to the car tow pound after her car had been towed. But when they got to the pound, they would only take cash or credit for the $185 fee, and she only had checks. So what did Officer Kinkaid do – leave her stranded? He went to an ATM, took out $185 of his own money, and paid her fee. His reason? Kinkaid said the good deed was just part of doing his job.
Isaiah 6:8 “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” On September 11, 2001, NYPD Officer Kenneth Tietjen commandeered a taxi and drove to ground zero. When he arrived, he rushed into the North tower and rescued many people, leading them out to safety. After he had brought several others out from the building and the conditions quickly grew worse, he and his partner realized they only had one respirator left that was now required to be able to breathe in all the smoke. Officer Tietjen smiled at his partner, said “Seniority rules”, took the respirator and rushed back into the tower—just before it collapsed.