This last Saturday Jane and I attended a symposium called “The Pain Behind the Badge” at the Irvine Police Department here in Southern California. The speaker was Sgt Clarke Paris and his wife Tracie. Sgt Clarke is a 25 year Veteran of law enforcement and is currently employed as a sergeant with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. His wife Tracie has been a Registered Nurse for 25 years. This was one of the best symposiums we had attended when it comes to understanding the statistics among law enforcement. “The Pain Behind The Badge” is a training seminar designed to reduce the one staggering statistic that we have jurisdiction over…police suicide. We learned during the event that 65,000 police officers are assaulted every year; police officers are killed in the line of duty every 53 hours and more police officers commit suicide than killed by assailants. Every 22 hours an officer somewhere in the U.S. takes his/her own life and yet there are no federally funded programs in place for dealing with police suicide. Less than 2% of the law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have a police suicide prevention program. We believe officers will continue to take his/her own life if appropriate intervention is not made. That effective intervention is the Biblical police chaplain. Will you pray for us as we continue to work with the Pomona Police Department and other agencies throughout the state of California? We need more police chaplains who can provide that official intervention. If one is interested in learning more about the “The Pain Behind The Badge training seminar, please go to their website at http://www.thepainbehindthebadge.com/
My name is Officer Delavega and I have had the pleasure of having Chaplain Bob Keller go with me on a ride alongs. With all the evil us officers see out there its great to have a man of God by our side. As I take care of business in the physical Bob is taking care of business in the spiritual. Thanks Bob your brother.
Below you will find a call that Chaplain Wilson went out on. The Lord used us to help Chaplain Wilson enter into the Chaplaincy. He is the former pastor of Foothill Baptist Church in Castro Valley, Ca and now resides in Florida. Dear Chaplain Bob Keller, I had my first call out with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. It went extremely well - thanks solely to the working of the Holy Spirit in the situation. A young man 18 years of age was fishing in the canal that flows from the delta (Sacramento area) to Southern California. He lost his pole in the water and tried to retrieve it an consequently fell in the water. He was pulled under and carried away with the swift current (flowing at about 7 knots). I was called at about 2 PM and arrived on scene about 3 PM. The were about 60 family members and friends standing along side the road next to where the mobile command center was located. The Sgt. briefed me on the situation and then we brought the mother and two uncles into the command center and gave them the news that there was really no hope of finding him alive and that it may be several days before the body is discovered or that it may never be discovered. I then took the mother out to the edge of the canal, so she could see how swift the water was, where I prayed with her. I then took her back to her family & friends and gave them the same information we gave the mother. I then encouraged them to return home or to a central place where they could be comfort to the mother - out of the sun and wind. I explained that there was nothing they could gain by standing around on the road; that the Sgt. had their cell phone number and would call the minute he had any further information. Within about ten minutes they all left the scene. The Sgt. was ecstatic and used the words outstanding & awesome in regard to dealing with the family and the 60 people alongside the road - getting them to leave the scene. He said a Captain was on his way to thank me (I told him that was not necessary) and that the "higher ups" would hear about this and be pleased. I was able to free the deputies from having to take their time to deal with the situation along side the road. They had called the CHIP to assist with the crowd, but as they arrived the crowd was leaving - they couldn't believe it. The only reason I even include this paragraph is to show how incredible the Lord is in giving wisdom and what to say at a time like this (Bob, you know how scared I was), and to show the positive impact it made on the Sheriff's department. I think they are more convinced than ever of the value of a Chaplain. Thank you Bob for allowing yourself to be used of the Lord to get me involved in this rewarding and exciting opportunity to minister for our Lord.
Chaplain & Your Friend, Wilson
Jane and I attended the city council meeting last night and the Council ended talk of disbanding its nearly century-old police force. We praise the Lord for this answer to prayer. Thank you all for praying.
One last chance to let your voice be heard will be on August 2nd at the city council meeting beginning at 7:00 pm. Please plan to attend to support the Pomona Police Department. The city council chambers are located just behind the City Hall. Click on the link to learn more or contact me at 714-865-9177.
Jane and I were invited to the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon of Pomona Police Department this last week and received the “Chaplain Service Award” of 2010. The luncheon was held at the Pomona Mining Company restaurant and the food was tremendous. What a great honor to receive this award from the Department. Below you will find a photo of the award. Also invited were Pastor Randall Fox and his wife Karen of the Faith Baptist Church of Santa Ana to give the invocation, at our request. During the invocation Pastor Fox expressed his appreciation for all that the Police Department does in protecting the city of Pomona. This gave the Fox’s an insight to what we do in the department as well. We enjoyed having them and they had a great time.
Parable of the Life-Saving Station
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was a once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day or night tirelessly searching for the lost.
Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding areas, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. The little life-saving station grew.
Some of the new members of the life-saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.
So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they re-decorated it beautifully and furnished it as a sort of club.
Less of the members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life boat crews to do this work.
The mission of life-saving was still given lip-service but most were too busy or lacked the necessary commitment to take part in the life-saving activities personally.
About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people.
They were dirty and sick, and some of them had black skin, and some spoke a strange language, and the beautiful new club was considerably messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's life-saving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal life pattern of the club.
But some members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the life of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. They did.
As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. They evolved into a club and yet another life-saving station was founded.
If you visit the seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, only now most of the people drown.
During my ride along this last week, we were dispatched to a scene of an individual who was not breathing. Officer D. and I were the first to arrive on scene. Once inside Officer D. entered the bedroom with his gear and proceeded to do CPR on the individual. My job was to keep the family away from the bedroom and to comfort them during this tragic situation . In a matter of minutes the fire department came and took over the care of the individual and then he was transported to the hospital. An hour later Officer D. and I drove to hospital to follow up on the man to see how he was doing. We learned upon arrival that he had died. We walked into the ER where he was laying and met the rest of the family. Officer D. spoke up and asked the family if they wanted the chaplain to pray with them. They were very appreciative and emphatically stated YES! I prayed with them and offered our condolences. Upon leaving I gave them my card and offered to help them with the memorial service. This was a very sad situation which I know happens all the time in our city, but I must say that in my estimation, I believe that Officer D. went beyond the call of duty to try to save this man's life. He is a tremendous police officer. I am proud to be the Chaplain of the Pomona PD even more when I see our officers perform as Officer D. did.
I often say that chaplains go into situations that pastors never get to go. The above situation is a great example of that.
Please remember to pray for your local police officers. They often go unnoticed and unappreciated for all that they do.
Please also pray for the family of this man as they are mourning his loss.
In Pursuit! Ministries of California exists to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who work in law enforcement, the military and victims of crime. This last Monday I rode with an officer for that very purpose. Ride Alongs are so important! I would like to share some information from our Law Enforcement Chaplains Class to give the purpose of a ride along. It is not to:
- To play policeman
- To preach an unsolicited sermon at the officer
- To be entertained
- To get involved in every hot call of the shift!
- To be seen in public hanging out with the cops…
The purpose of a ride along is:
- Chaplain’s Personal Familiarization with:
- The specific Officer
- His job and its stresses
- His personal life, interests, hobbies, problems
- To be able to more intelligently:
- Pray for him
- Minister to him in his time of need via the establishment of a personal rapport
The chaplain’s function is to be a source of moral support and strength. The chaplain provides encouragement in difficult times we call this “The Ministry of Gospel Presence.” We find a great example of this ministry in Job 2:11-13.
“Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.”
“They simply sat with him for seven days and nights without saying a word. They knew that in the middle of Job’s troubles their words would not resonate like they normally would. Their actions of simply being there spoke loud enough. They cried with him, sat with him, grieved with him, and gave a very precious gift to him…their presence. Many times this is what our ministry is all about, just giving your presence.” Ninety Five percent of helping someone is just being there and listening.
In the future I will say more about this “Ministry of Gospel Presence.
Jane and I were dispatched yesterday from the Pomona Police Department to visit a family whose 5 week old son died suddenly from an unknown cause recently. We were able to listen to them relay their experiences of having to call 911, having the police come along with the EMT's, then their mad dash to the hospital. They told us that the funeral services had already been held. We were able to share Scripture and pray with them. They are looking to move out of their apartment as it is a constant reminder of the loss of their baby. Please pray for them.
This last Thursday Jane and I had the opportunity to help in "The Every 15 Minutes Program" at the Pomona High School. As you will see in the photos this program offers real-life experience without the real-life risks. The program is designed to dramatically instill in teenagers the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol. While we were there we saw how the students were challenged not to drink and to take responsibility to make mature decisions when lives are involved.
For more information please click on their website to the right of this page!