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A chaplain's view

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Posted: Monday, February 26, 2001 10:00 pm

I am proud to be a chaplain in the Lodi Police Department.

I also am proud of our city and community. It makes me proud to see our citizens support our department and the officers who keep our city safe.

As you've recently read the news accounts of our officer-involved shootings, I am asking you to be in fervent prayer for these particular officers, their families and our entire police department.

While we sit back at times, second-guess, criticize and judge these men and women for the jobs they were called to do, we must remember their lives were changed forever by their split-second decisions. Our judgments of them will be nothing compared to the judgments they will make of themselves.

These events will replay in their minds for the rest of their lives. They must endure the harsh criticisms of themselves, their peers and the public. Place yourself behind the badge.

These officers' names have been in the news over and over again. But there is one thing I haven't noticed. I haven't seen the names and faces of the officers who take time to help a citizen get their car started or help push a car out of the ongoing traffic to protect those driving or to help an elderly person across the street after an accident. Their names were not in the news.

Neither do I see the officers' names in the media who brought $50 worth of toys for Adopt-a-Child program for those underprivileged children so they could have a decent Christmas.

These same officers hand out Christmas trees to those at Christmas who cannot afford one.

There are many acts of kindness carried out by our officers every day that no one will ever know about. But could I as their chaplain say, Jesus knows and, in his own words: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."

Bill Sherrill Head Chaplain Lodi Police Department

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