The Chaplain's Notebook

Judged Without Due Process

Recently, there has been a series of events that the media have used to make law enforcement officers look like the Gestapo from World War II. They portray only one-sided stories and jump to conclusions before all the facts and evidence are gathered. Because of this, there are many people angry with law enforcement officers, believing them to be nothing more than bigoted racists who get their joy out of harassing and tormenting others.

There is nothing further from the truth! I have ridden with the deputies who serve Lancaster, Palmdale and Santa Clarita Stations for the last several years, and have found that our law enforcement officers are in fact doing an excellent job. They perform their duties with tact and are respectful of the people they serve. They do their job even though they are understaffed and under more scrutiny than at any other time in the history of law enforcement.

The deputies show more restraint than their counterparts from the past, and I have seen them tolerate people whom I would not have had the patience to deal with. I have not met one deputy whom I would have any cause to distrust or fear.

As mentioned above, the media seem to have an agenda to discredit the men and women of law enforcement. But when all the facts are gathered and all the evidence has been weighed, it seems that the officers the media have condemned turned out to have done their job well and that they were justified in their actions. The funny side of this is that the media do not even apologize to those whom they blasted as being wrong, who in turn were found to be in the right.

The way the media have depicted our law enforcement officers caused people to follow the agendas that they created. There have been mass protests and rioting in several cities, and even the brutal murder of some of our law enforcement officers from around the country — the most recent being the assassination of five Dallas police officers and several others shot at what was supposed to be a “peaceful demonstration.” I believe the press should be held accountable for what they post when they condemn someone without all the facts and data.

As I mentioned above, the men and women of law enforcement do their job very well. I believe that they have their own agenda, to do the best they can with the little bit of equipment they have, to hopefully go home at the end of their shift to their families and friends, and to know that they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Most of the deputies I met care a great deal about helping to keep their neighbors safe. They are not racist and truly want to make a difference in the areas they work.

In Romans 13, it says to “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law…. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

How can I contact a chaplain? Chaplains are available at their units of assignment, or by calling the Psychological Services Bureau at (213) 738-3500.  I