Tag Archives: Officer Down!

Lessons In Losing A Brother

Thanks, Mike the Cop.

You led me deeper into life.

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NOT shot 2x head priest prays for cop shot 3x chest

Here’s the news story. Awesome.

I’m guessing a feather of Father’s guardian angel jammed the gun, twice.

This is a Hail Mary story if ever there was one. The power of the Rosary!

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Police Tribute – Bring Me Back to LIFE

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Tribute to a Police Officer by Paul Harvey – Hurt Locker

After Police arrested the guy in El Paso and ended the threat in Dayton, they had to deal with the death and carnage. Don’t think it doesn’t hurt.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (PSO Medal of Valor, edition)

public safety officer medal of valor

Among those receiving the Medal of Valor two were already no longer living in this world. It’s about doing what you should do. You do it, and it’s almost never recognized. No thanks. In fact, just the opposite. Many condemn you to hell for laying your life on the line… for them. Guaranteed: the contentedness in the face of the young man above isn’t about himself. Instead, this is about seeing things the way they should be, whereby the whole country is recognizing what is right, what is of all honesty and integrity. And that’s good. That’s very good.

I recall some priests from Columbia speaking of all the normal pastoral things that any priest gets into for the sake of his flock, and I stupidly said that they were doing so much. The immediate response of one just ordained priest was one of anger: “No! We’ve done NOTHING! None of us has been killed like so many of our priest-friends in Columbia. We’ve done NOTHING!

public safety officer medal of valor-

Another guarantee: those who have been killed in the line of duty and are standing before the Lord to be judged on what they did in laying down their lives as the greatest act of love will instead stand aside and point to Jesus’ wounds, and then to Jesus’ good mom.

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It’s when we realize that even those of us who have laid down their lives as the greatest act of love have done NOTHING. The love, the generosity, the honesty and integrity and humility by which that is done is not our ours, but rather our Lord’s that we’re drawn into. Mary was always in solidarity with Him as He laid down His life for everyone, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus, in doing this, laid down the life of His mother for us as well. He died, and you gotta know, she was totally crushed for us. A flower for you, created by your Son, dearest mother Mary.

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It’s the boy at 3’50” Stay in the Fight – Hallelujah LEO Tribute by Chase Curl

We pray to come home to our families when we leave at night.
We pray for comfort, pray for safety, and for peace of mind.
We face the demons in the streets while you all sleep tight.
People meet us with their anger from the 6 O’clock news.
People hurt and people maimed by the boys in blue.
No one looks into the story like they all should do.
No one airs all the officers who save our lives.
They’d rather cover all the issues to increase their dime.
It’s not a story and to them it’s just a waste of time.
Another officer is down.
Do they hear us now?
Another day of being blamed.
While we bear the pain.
We’ll continue to stay in the fight.
In spite of all of this we’ll do what’s right.

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I’M BLEEDING OUT lyrics analysis

You know the Law Enforcement Tribute above dedicated to our finest who place themselves in danger and lay down their lives for our safety. I put it up top of the blog with some frequency. It happens all the time. The song has become a bit of a meme, with the subjects being from the Military or Law Enforcement or the Fire Department…

But what if we were to apply the lyrics to Jesus?

I’m guessing this is not at all in any way whatsoever what the authors intended.

But let’s see what happens… Amazing…

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down [from our pride]
I’ll bleed out for you [standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty]
So I bear my skin [and get it ripped off with the scourging]
And I count my sins [His sins… are our sins, the punishment for which, death, He takes on so as to have the right in His own justice to forgive us. “Father, forgive them!”]
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
When the day has come [The “Day of the Lord”]
But I’ve lost my way around [The “Way” has lost His way: the irony points to redemption. Just how many times did our Lord fall while carrying His Cross, that is, our cross, on the way to Calvary. Have you done the Stations of the Cross during this Lent?]
And the seasons stop and hide beneath the ground [Indeed. All of time is drawn into that one “Hour” when our Lord draws all to Himself, so that we might be buried with Him, so as then, in His Triumph over death, over our sin, to rise from the dead to live forever.]
When the sky turns gray [There was, in fact, an eclipse at this time]
And everything is screaming [With all hell broken out on Calvary, literally, the chaos would be, is indescribable.] 
I will reach inside
Just to find my heart is beating [Wow. And Jesus will put Thomas’ hand into His own side so that Thomas might touch the very Heart of God, still beating, risen from the dead, all out of Love for us. “My Lord and my God” said Thomas, no longer doubting, but believing.]
You tell me to hold on
Oh you tell me to hold on [People will surely condemn me for “re-writing” the Lord’s prayer, but what it actually says about the battle on Calvary not with some generic evil but over against The Evil One, is that we are to ask to be delivered, saved from the clutches of Satan (who would have been “our father” instead of our Heavenly Father if we are without the grace of Our Heavenly Father). We are asking quite literally in the Lord’s prayer that Jesus not throw us into the battle (the trial, the “temptation”) alone, but rather that He carry us into the battle, He being our Warrior, our Soldier, only Jesus. And that’s why, dear friends, the Mass was always said, also by the priest, in some places still today, facing Jesus, not “facing the people”. It is Jesus who carries us all into the Sacrifice of the Mass with Himself.]
But innocence is gone
And what was right is wrong [And then we blame Jesus for the hell, blaspheming, saying that it’s all His fault that all hell has broken out, all His fault that we get sick and die and seem to face Satan alone. But, no, it’s not that way. He continues to carry us, trying to open our eyes to see not just the battle, not just Satan, but rather Him, Jesus, rescuing us from Satan. We’re so self-centered. “Woe is me!” we cry. We should instead be in humble thanksgiving as Jesus carries us into the battle. Be not afraid! Jesus is the Victor.]
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down [from our pride]
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
When the hour is nigh [“The Hour” – the hour of Mary’s intercession as Jesus explained at the Wedding of Cana, drawing an analogy with His own marriage with the Church, giving Himself totally to the Church at the Last Supper with wedding vows fulfilled on Calvary with His bleeding out for us: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice…]
And hopelessness is sinking in [Yes, hopeless that His own Mother would be spared witnessing His being tortured to death. This would have hit Him hard in the agony of the garden. This is what He would try to avoid if possible, the hurt He knew His Mother would go through. “Father, Thy will, not mine be done.”]
And the wolves all cry
To feel they’re not worth hollering [Wow. Those words required lots of previous suffering of all kinds to come out like that. Wow. Good for the author of these particular words. Wow. In our sense of worthlessness, we cry about it, and then we strike out.]

When your eyes are red [The Shroud of Turin seems to indicated that the massive thorns from the Crown of Thorns went through His forehead and into His eyes…]
And emptiness is all you know [“My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?!” Now, go read the rest of Psalm 22 to know what that’s all about. Totally awesome giving love for us in filial trust of His ever listening Heavenly Father.]
With the darkness fed [Satan had full rights over us since we obeyed Satan in our original sin, Adam’s sin, rather than God. Jesus didn’t owe Satan anything as Jesus usurped Satan’s rights over us when He Himself took on the punishment we deserve for sin, which is death. Jesus was fulfilling His own righteousness, with mercy founded on justice, His own justice, He standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty. However, with this, Satan is “fed,” that is, muted, as now Satan can’t complain. Jesus did it for us.]
I will be your scarecrow [Saint Paul speaks of being a fool for Christ’s sake. Jesus makes it seem like He is the criminal for our sake, the One from whom we turn our eyes. But He brings us around. He’s very patient with us.]
You tell me to hold on
Oh you tell me to hold on
But innocence is gone
And what was right is wrong
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you, for you
I’m bleeding out for you
‘Cause I’m bleeding out
If the last thing that I do
Is to bring you down
I’ll bleed out for you
So I bear my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in
And I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you, for you


By Joshua Francis Mosser, Alexander Junior Grant, Benjamin Arthur McKee, Daniel Coulter Reynolds, Daniel Wayne Sermon. Bleeding Out lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group [N.B. I edited out “said” since I couldn’t hear it actually sung, at all, in any of the verses.]

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Officer Down Bleeding Out again, because this happens *every day*

I put this up because it’s inspiring to me, especially the first seconds especially second 0.31 bringing the guy back to life. Note that the LEO at 2.35 lives.

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Last Call Police: This is integrity. This is what touches my heart and soul

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Copping an attitude with “dirtbags”: We’re keeping track of all y’all.

police lives matter

Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, speaks reality after five officers were wounded, two critically, and for one of them, the third time he has been shot.

“Now I want to speak on behalf of the 5,200 brave men and women who work in the Houston Police Department and the other 800,000 police officers who are working these streets every single day, are putting their lives on the line. We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough.

“And for the ones who are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now and we’re going to be keeping track of all y’all and we’re going to be making sure we’re going to be holding you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.”

Why is it that some mayors of some cities go out of their way to make sure that peace officers have no way to protect themselves, and have policies that would forbid them from constraining individuals appropriately when the safety of whoever is at risk?

But calling murderous violent criminals “dirtbags”? I like it!

Calling criminals like ISIS “animals” just doesn’t cut it. Saint John of the Cross says that sin makes us to be less than animals as we don’t do what we should even while animals do what they should do. So, it’s not fair to insult animals by calling criminals “animals.”

Just call ciminals “dirtbags.” Great!

Are they redeemed by our Lord. Sure. Are they saved? Dunno about that. Whatever about the state of their souls, what they present on the outside = “dirtbags.” Should we go out of our way according to our circumstances to introduce people to Jesus. Sure. If we have those circumstances, our Lord expects it. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners, while yet criminals, while yet… wait for it… dirtbags. Our Lord is very good and kind.

Having said that, I also hope our LEOs have all the tools that they need for certain circumstances:

fargopolicedepartment

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Matt Pearce Story – How to listen

Here in far Western North Carolina, we’ve had some difficulties with Law Enforcement. Right now, in my county, there are several State Bureau of Investigation investigations going on, and a multitude of Federal Bureau of Investigation investigations. It comes down to just a few individuals being involved, of course. As with ever sector of society, it’s just a few bad eggs that stink up everything. It’s not everyone. Far from it. I say all that for the criminal element among us who think that accusation is proof of crime. I’m sure you can make the analogy.

Anyway, when listening to this story, watching it, don’t so much be thinking that Matt is a hero as if what he has done is unattainable to the rest of the great unwashed, somehow beyond everyone else, a freak occurrence. No. Doing what we’re supposed to do in whatever circumstances we are in is just what we are supposed to do. Meeting up with the likes of Matt is an occasion to be inspired to do just that.

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Police Tribute: Staying in the Fight – Where integrity is to be found

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“Officer down!” “Home” for holidays

police memorial lioness

When the “Officer down!” call goes out, his going home may well mean going home on the other side of death, where eternal life is that from which we are exiled on this earth until we join those who lead the way.

In honor of those who have led the way, I re-post this speech given by yours truly at our local “Officer Down!” Memorial Dinner which the town helped us put on at the Community Center at the end of Police Week a few years back:

Just the other day, our friends at the FBI reported that police feloniously killed in the line of duty is up 89%. Up 89% in unrelated incidents, unrelated except for an un-American spirit of division which has made such violence possible. Those who facilitate this disintegrating culture say that to honor our law officers who died in the line of duty is partisan politics, that to honor our law officers who laid down their lives that we might live is vicious racism, that to honor our law officers who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of everyone in these United States of America is outdated and dirty patriotism, that to honor our law officers who wash away the dangers of terrorism with a flood of their own blood is religious discrimination. It has been said that to honor those who served honorably is tantamount to deceit, tricking people into overlooking one or another mistake among a million acts of kindness, the reason, it is maliciously said, why we must not have any law officers and, indeed, why all law officers must be killed.

And yet, these are also the people served and protected by our law officers by safeguarding the rule of law, the principle of E pluribus unum, “Out of many, one.” No one could possibly feel more betrayed by an ideological spirit of division than our officers of the law who, with honesty, integrity and service as a way of life, are willing at any moment to lay down their own lives in death on behalf of this unity. Our law officers’ enthusiasm is to hold to the rule of law, and we the people of these United States are indignant with today’s hateful prejudice against law officers. We say that our officers putting themselves on the front lines protecting all of us is also appropriately a religious duty. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:3). The great Law Giver, the Great Unifier said that when He was to be lifted up on the Cross, He would draw all to Himself. E pluribus unum.

We the people of these United States say that patriotism, respecting and cherishing our country, is not an evil, but is manifestly a gracious invitation that is extended without political, racial or any other kind of discrimination, an invitation for all to have the joy of being good citizens, helpful to each other, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice, the benefit of law for all. This is what our law officers stand for, live for, die for. Every day we are the beneficiaries of our active and fallen law officers of the judicial and executive branches of government. While they do their work, we enjoy security and another day to live. They also want to live, but just by the fact of showing up for work day-in, day-out, night-in, night-out, always on call, officers who are alive today are making the statement that they are willing at any moment to be called out to dispatch, “Officer down! Another officer down!” It behooves all to know that of the 51 officers murdered this past year, only six attempted to draw their weapons, seven had their weapons stolen, one being killed with his own weapon. Where else does that happen in the world? How very much our peace officers want peace!

They can suffer debilitating life-long injuries. And with the intensity of training, of foot pursuit of an armed felon, or of a hostage situation, or of an out of control domestic dispute, officers can and do suffer fatal heart attacks. The last thing that someone serving others wants to see is rancor, discord, and violence. Vehicular pursuit of those dangerous to themselves and others can end all too suddenly, all too permanently. Assassinations, shootouts, aggravated assault all bring in the call to the dispatcher: “Officer down!” There are still officers to this day succumbing to cancer contracted during selfless service in the toxic dust and smoke of September 11, 2001. Some tours of duty run for decades. Some for just a few weeks. The day of the End of Watch, the day of the call to dispatch: “Officer down!” … comes on average every 50-some hours year-in, year-out. If officers come to work at peril of their own lives even while they continuously see the worst side of humanity, and sometimes the best, it is because they have hope that they can make a difference in life, in death, forever vigilant.

But here’s the deal: if we take pride in our officers who laid down their lives in the line of duty, this is nothing on our part unless we also take the challenge to try to live up to their good example, to live with the spirit of the honesty, integrity and service with which they died. We are to be forever vigilant with them. When our officers give their lives in localized unrepeatable circumstances, they nevertheless give their lives for the entire country. They make their own the words of revolutionary patriot Nathan Hale: “My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country.”

We will now have the End of Watch proclamation. Our telecommunicator at central dispatch, […], will read the name, and how many years old the officer was, and the End of Watch date. Sergeant […] will read the length of the Tour of Duty and, in just a few words, the cause of death. We begin with five included from past years from our local area, lest we forget. This most solemn reading will take but thirty minutes. In the intensity of this short time our hope is renewed. For every “Officer Down!” we have hope that another of our officers has gone up to heaven where E pluribus unum reigns supreme, where the greatest love for one’s friends reigns supreme. Remember in your prayers also the surviving parents, spouses, children, friends, and fellow officers.

— Father George David Byers

officer down-

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Shots fired. Officer down.

“I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”

“Dispatch, please tell my family I love them.”

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Do Polices Lives Matter in Andrews?

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I went up to our tiny “police station” (more like a couple of rooms in “city hall”) last week to invite our new police force to the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry which raises funds for some really good charities. This picture was taken through the exterior door which may as well have been welded shut months ago for all the times it has ever been opened, like never. That’s not really a complaint. We’re just going though some tough times. People can only do the possible.

As I found out, it’s useless to invite anyone to anything on a Friday as no one is even in-state on Fridays, and none of the police work on weekends, ever. Talk about an invitation to make Andrews a weekend playground for criminals, either locals or out-of-state knuckleheads. Friday through Sunday are the most busy days for our drug factories / distribution centers. But, I hope, that is about to change quite radically.

As seems to happen a lot, everything has changed once again:

  • The chief was given an ultimatum the other day (I’m not saying that was a bad idea given some difficult logistics but conditions should have been laid out before he was hired) and so he up and quit, along with another full time officer (who was subject to the same logistics; and it’s all and only about logistics). The ex-chief will stay on as a part-timer (keeping his cred that way, rightly) but the other guy is gone altogether (though he also keeps his cred by way of the now ex-chief, rightly).
  • There are plans to do some other hiring and we’ll start seeing some new faces this week. A local guy with lots of experience and lots of enthusiasm for lots of reasons will be hired as an officer. That’ll be great for us.
  • Another guy from Georgia will be getting his NC qualifications from Raleigh in these next days. I think he’s moving in-state, half-way between Andrews and his other job in Georgia. I gotta wonder, though, with a fellow Georgia-ite quitting and the Chief from Georgia being reduced to part time, if that will make this other guy think twice about bothering with Andrews.
  • Also, a volunteer will sit at the desk in the office so that the doors might actually be open for the first time in a long time.

This will all help us to settle down a bit. It’s been crazy, and, because of that, unnecessarily dangerous for the police doing a stop or a call. It was basically useless to call in: “Officer requires assistance” or “Officer needs backup.” That situation is untenable. Even an “officer down” alert could take 15 to 45 minutes for a response. But now we might be doing a little better, perhaps. Police lives do matter. We need to act in accord with that fact. We’re getting better. We’re moving forward. That’s good. But it really shouldn’t be on a continuum scale. Either we do things with at least a minimum of safety or we don’t do them at all. Police lives do matter, don’t they? It shouldn’t be a question, just a statement.

police lives matter

I don’t want to put on another seven county tri-state Officer Down Memorial Dinner that includes tolling out the names and end-of-duty dates for Andrews Police…

Anyway, and I could be wrong on this, but I’m wondering whether this means that applications are once again being taken for another Police Chief… Anyone want a real challenge?

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Best Police Week speech I ever heard

From Behind the Badge OC.  Editor’s Note: The grand opening of Golden West College’s Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) was held April 10. The keynote speaker was the Hon. Associate Justice William W. Bedsworth, Fourth District Court of Appeal. The video was provided by GWC. BehindtheBadgeOC.com is publishing Associate Justice’s Bedsworth’s speech in its entirety, along with video. His speech perfectly captures how today’s law enforcement officers have to be vastly more equipped than their counterparts in the past. Here is a slightly edited text of Associate Justice Bedsworth’s speech:

“I know those of you in uniform probably feel like you’ve already had to listen to me too much in your career. I have both good news and bad news. The good news is they’ve only given me 10 minutes. The bad news is they’ve given me 10 minutes.

“I’ve been given the honor of joining all of you today and I want to use those 10 minutes to make some points about the need filled by this spectacular facility. I was born in 1947. I was a boy in the ’50s. John Murphy, my next-door neighbor and godfather, was an LAPD sergeant. His equipment consisted of a .38 special revolver, a billy, a flashlight, and a pair of handcuffs.

“The people who are trained here will be equipped with a .9mm semi-auto, 14-round sidearm. They will carry multiple magazines, double handcuffs, a tear gas canister, a baton, a handheld radio, a Taser, a flashlight, a voice-activated audio recorder, a body camera, a tactical knife, and a hidden backup pistol.

“In their trunk will be a shotgun, a patrol rifle and a patrol bag full of report forms, first aid kits, and a dozen other items John Murphy never imagined. They will be expected to know how and when to use all of those things.

“Sgt. Murphy had been trained to drive and to shoot. He had not learned artificial respiration. He knew nothing about CPR or the use of a defibrillator. He never saw an upper-body protection vest. He never used a computer to check a record or registration. Those tools and the expertise necessary to use them were science fiction to him. His knowledge of search and seizure law was rudimentary.

“Mapp vs. Ohio had not yet been decided, so very little evidence was being excluded on the basis of Fourth Amendment violations. He did not know the Miranda warnings because Miranda had not been decided until 1966, the year he retired.

“He knew nothing about detention law, because Terry vs. Ohio was not decided until two years after that. He did not know how the rights of high school students differed from the rights of adults because nobody knew that until the Supreme Court told us in TLO vs. New Jersey in 1985.

“The men and women who go through their training here will be able to debate the finer points of all of those court decisions and dozens of others and hold their own with any lawyer. They have to be able to do that to do the job correctly.

“Sgt. Murphy knew almost nothing about crime scene preservation or trace evidence, blood spatter interpretation, fingerprints lifted with chemical fumes, obtaining evidence from cell phones — cell phones themselves were all things none of us even imagined when the first academies began going through the facilities here at Golden West in 1969.

“When this college opened in the 1960s, the letters DNA were juxtaposed only on monogram sleeves. I was the first judge to rule on DNA evidence in Orange County and that was in the late ’80s.

“Law enforcement changes hourly, folks. It is no easier to keep up with the changes in law enforcement than it is to keep up with changes in medicine or physics or biology or ballistics or pharmacology. All of which, by the way, are things the modern police officer must know a lot about — must learn and relearn constantly.

“Do you think that’s an exaggeration? Those of you not in uniform, ask yourself about the changes in the last eight years. How much did you know about methamphetamine in 2010? How much did you know about AR-15s five years ago? How much did you know about sniper scopes and bullet trajectories before the Mandalay Bay massacre? How much did you know about opioids two years ago? How much did you know about bump stocks and high-capacity magazines a year ago?

“Every day, every time a cop picks up a paper or watches the news, she learns about something else she will have to know about probably before her next shift. The amount of education and reeducation our police must assimilate every day is staggering. It requires literally, and I emphasize, I mean this literally, not figuratively, it requires literally more daily re-education than a doctor or lawyer ever needs to do his or her job, and when a peace officer applies that reeducation, he or she has to be a psychologist, a pharmacologist, a teacher, a counselor, a lawyer, an EMT, and a bad-ass superhero, probably all during one shift.

“It has always been a tough job. Long before anyone had ever heard of Stefan Clark or could find Ferguson, Missouri on a map, law enforcement was a brutally difficult way to make a living.

“Why?

“Well, for one thing, the Constitution — our police take an oath to defend — was devised by rebels. Our founding fathers were protesters. Think of the Boston Tea Party and the Bunker Hill massacre. Those were protesters. They were men who had been oppressed and subjugated and they were determined it was never going to happen again.

“So when they won the revolution, they instituted a system designed to restrain their new government, designed to make sure that they would never be oppressed by the government again. The whole system is set up to exalt the individual and to limit the government.

“Folks, the United States of America is the only place on the planet where in a case called Miranda vs. the State, Miranda wins. That’s what the revolutionary army fought and died for, and that’s what our police protect.

“When you represent the government in a system like that, you have to know it’s going to be difficult and it is. It is as difficult a job as there is on this planet.

“Imagine doing what you do. I don’t know what your job is. Whatever your job is, imagine doing it with people throwing rocks at you, people spitting on you, people trying to kill you, and then think about what their job description is.

“Their job description, these people in uniform, is putting your life on the line every day for strangers, dealing with the mentally ill, mediating domestic violence, counseling child molestation victims, consoling the bereaved, pulling people out of burning vehicles, chasing psychopathic 15-year-olds down blind, dark alleys, knowing they have a gang (and) gun, but they don’t yet have a conscience.

“What kind of person takes that job?

“I don’t understand it. I’ve never understood it. My jobs have required me to study cops for 37 years. I’ve worked with them. I’ve played ball with them. I’ve drunk beer with them. I’ve laughed with them, I’ve cried with them, I’ve celebrated with them, and I’ve suffered with them, but I have never for a single moment understood them.

“I cannot imagine what kind of person does all the things they do for a society of strangers, 3 million of us in this county who they will never meet, but for whom they are always committed. Always there. Always ready.

“It’s not a job, folks. It’s a calling, and if you haven’t been called, you can’t understand those who have been. So, I no longer try to understand them. I just thank the Lord for continuing to turn them out and I suggest you do the same.

“And as long as I’m giving thanks, I thank all of you for supporting them. I thank all of you for supporting endeavors like this spectacular new facility, I thank you for making sure they will have the training and support they need for this complicated job.

“I thank you for continuing to encourage our best young people to take up this work and I thank you for giving me 10 minutes to express my thanks to you and to them.

“Thank you.”

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Arnoud Beltrame: prayer for *him*?Striving to follow his example

arnoud beltrame

If you google – Arnaud Beltrame Hero – you’ll get the story about his taking the place of an ISIS hostage in a supermarket just the other day in southern France, a boring little out of the way supermarket like any other as in any small town anywhere in the world. Here’s that supermarket, your supermarket:

isis terrorism hostage trebes U location

Arnaud Beltrame is just another guy with a bit of military background like most Law Enforcement Officers anywhere in the world. But just another guy, Catholic, as most people are in France. The ISIS guy shot him four times and, by the way, no, he did not get the opportunity to get sacramentally married before he died from those wounds).

We recall Maximilian Kolbe taking the place of a fellow prisoner facing execution. Yet, the response is muted by a lot of conservative Catholic blogs. He was civilly married, though on his way to a sacramental marriage. I was a priest in France for two years but I wasn’t responsible for marriage prep and don’t know if getting civilly married means anything. In some places it doesn’t mean you are living together, just that you have an intention to get sacramentally married sometime in the foreseeable future. He had some 30 hours of prep time put in, his pastor “accompanying” them (ooooh, Amoris laetitia). I assume with all that prep time that this couple was living chastely and had always done so. But even if they were not – he in that case being no Maximilian Kolbe before his death – I would still nevertheless assume that he went right off to heaven with this selfless act of love.

Arnoud Beltrame laying down his life for someone under his protection – he being a Law Enforcement Officer – has done what Jesus calls the greatest act of love. That’s God saying that:

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)

Oh, and let’s not forget what we read elsewhere as inspired by the Holy Spirit:

“Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” (1 Peter 4:8-9)

Question from a reader: Can we ask for prayers for him?

Answer: Why would you want to do that?

I mean, sure, go ahead. Yes. Pray for him. And, by golly, there will be a massive funeral like France hasn’t seen for perhaps a half century or more for Arnoud Beltrame. Great!

But here’s how I think that will go. Those prayers and that Mass will go for those in purgatory, but not him. Indeed, I think Jesus will laugh at the attempt of such prayers and ask you if you are serious about that. Why oh why shouldn’t this guy go straight to heaven? I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t, you know, taking Jesus’ words seriously. Fulton Sheen once said about another soul that was controversial: “Upon hearing of his death, I firstly prayed first for the repose of his soul, and then I immediately prayed to him.”

I suppose I will be condemned by ultra-traditional-ism-ists for playing a dark side of Amoris laetitia. But, no. That’s not the way it is. I suppose I will be condemned by ultra-liberal-ism-ists for not confirming everything they exaggerate in Amoris laetitia for their own dark ends. And I’m good with that condemnation by them.

OK, now let’s give the proper direction to this event

There are lots of words being thrown about, like “hero,” and I agree entirely, and with that I would also point to similar selfless accomplishments of Arnoud Beltrame in the military. Really, very impressive. I rejoice in all that for him. What a great guy.

But in saying those things we had better not be “building the tombs of the prophets” in all hypocrisy, running away from doing the necessary when it is our turn. I dread my weakness and ask my guardian angel to help me in such a situation. Exclaiming “He’s a hero” is not about us basking in the limelight simply because we are the one’s voicing words like “hero.” As one operator of operators told me (“The Guy”), having a hero is not about lifting someone up; it’s about striving to follow their example.

Personally, I have a profound reverence for Arnoud Beltrame. O.K. We pray for him: Hail Mary… And now, I say: Arnould! Pray for me! Pray for us!

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Filed under Law enforcement, Military, Officer Down!, RIP, Terrorism

Dark and stormy Communion Calls. Local LEOs back me up because…

state police andrews

It’s been dark and stormy here, so much so that even in the middle of the day a good half the cars on the major highway had their double-emergency-flashers flashing.

Pictured above (gleaned from the back window digital recorder of Sassy the Subaru Forester) is one of our unmarked pursuit vehicles of the Sheriff’s Department. We like Dodge Chargers in WNC. He screamed about on Main Street and got in behind me for the next six miles. It’s always nice to see Church-State cooperation.

This is the usual, although he was a little slow on the uptake. He took a whole, I guess, 55 seconds to fall in behind me after my very first Communion Call of the day. I had stopped for a few seconds for a picture of some flowers for the Immaculate Conception. My bad. The record for getting a tail is just 5 seconds, a record which has almost been broken a number of times. The local LEOs “assist” me in this way really quite frequently I must say because… well… I’m not sure why.

  • Maybe they think my last three scores for the Federal Air Marshal Tactical Pistol Course coming in at just 94% just isn’t good enough for me to be on my own. Nah.
  • Or maybe Sassy the Subaru Forester looks especially ferocious. Definitely not that.
  • Maybe he wanted to suggest that a donkey would be a better form of transportation on such a dark and stormy day. Maybe.

Anyway, thanks, guys.

It’s a happy duty to give thanks to Law Enforcement Officers. Many have been ambushed and executed in these last weeks. It’s soooo dangerous. The media trash police continuously and create an environment in which such ambushes are easier to accomplish. That’s really, really evil. But our LEOs just do their jobs, day in day out, night in night out.

Thanks, guys. We appreciate it. We truly couldn’t get along without you.

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Filed under Humor, Law enforcement, Officer Down!, Thanks

Police supporting police forbidden?

officer down

Officer down! The aggressor pictured above, another case and different place, was shot dead by a good Samaritan. No other LEOs around.

I gotta be careful in what I say here. But I have to say I’m upset. Perhaps I’m wrong. Tell me if I’m off base. Here’s what happened:

Our last remaining police officer in town, a really good guy whose passion is to serve and protect, was down at the courthouse of the county in the neighboring town when a call came in for the nearest vehicle to offer assistance to an officer in distress. He was the nearest, so he did, for as long as he was needed, which was only a short time. Then he went back to what he was doing. Great. That’s what I would expect.

Blue uniform? Black uniform? Brown uniform? Undercover? Doesn’t matter. When an officer is in distress and puts out an “officer needs assistance” call for the nearest vehicle, not only does that vehicle show up, but all others who can possibly get there even if they are not the nearest: city police of whatever city, deputies of the county, forest service police, tribal federal police, DEA, et alii. The last thing we need is for an “officer down” call to go in minutes later because the nearest officer did not respond for specious reasons.

Our last remaining officer was, however, publicly severely castigated, in print, for having spent a few minutes coming to the aid of an officer in need. He was even given a disciplinary measure. Just. Wow.

Our new Mayor, who appointed himself interim Police Chief with exactly zero training and zero experience, said, at least according to the local newspaper: “I totally understand backing up other officers that are in distress, but it puts us at a liability to the town.” Just. Wow. “A liability.” Reading between the lines the rest of what the Mayor said, it looks like our last remaining police officer is on his way out of the police force, leaving no one but the Mayor to do the policing, but – Hey! – he’s the Chief, you know, with exactly zero training and zero experience. Talk about a liability. Maybe our officer will survive. We’ll see.

I’ll tell you this, if any law enforcement officer is being smashed down by violent criminals with no help in sight, I’m going to stop and offer assistance regardless of what any Mayor says, even if it’s in his town. Correction. Even if it’s in my town. Our town. Borders like that don’t matter when someone – whoever – is in distress.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Officer Down!

Officer Down! What kind of thanks…

officer down shawn anderson

Some people are against the police until they need to call them. Our LEOs serve even those who hate them, mock them. Out LEOs give their lives not only for their friends, but even for enemies, the greatest love doubled over. Sergeant Anderson was called to a rape scene and was executed when he arrived. It’s like ISIS killing doctors because “they’re too good.” But is it enough to say “Thank you” to our LEOs? I think not. As the best of the best of the best told me: “Don’t just say ‘Thank you’; strive to follow their good example.” Yes, that is the kind of thanks that is especially appreciated. Also by our Lord, who, in laying down His life for all sinners while they were still sinners, said, “As the Master, so the Disciple.”

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