The Chaplain's Notebook


As I write this column, our country is going through an incredibly challenging time — certainly, one of the most challenging I have witnessed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost all aspects of our daily lives. For those of us in the law enforcement community, as essential workers, it has been especially demanding and stressful.

We’ve also been confronted with protests, riots, looting, violence and anti-police sentiment. The 24-hour news cycle is permeated with negative portrayals of law enforcement, calls to overhaul the entire system and some even demanding to defund police.

This can be very frustrating and discouraging. Some may question their future in the law enforcement profession. Others may become depressed or lose hope.

Yet, as difficult as our circumstances may be, I want to offer encouragement. As Victor Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor, observed, “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”

God is all-powerful and in absolute control. I believe everything in this life has a purpose and He will always use it for our ultimate good. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Most of what we see in the media is outrage and negativity toward law enforcement. This can lead us to falsely assume everyone is against us. But the reality is, there are millions and millions more people who admire, respect and love you!

That’s why, during difficult times, it’s good to step back and look at the “big picture,” to evaluate our purpose.

Our role is essential. Being a deputy sheriff is an honor and one of the most noble professions. In fact, God ordains it and blesses those who so chose to serve. The Apostle Paul writes that those in law enforcement are God’s messengers for our good. What an amazing thing to think of when contemplating your position! “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

With all my heart, and on behalf of most Americans, I want to say: Thank you. We appreciate you and all of the sacrifices you and your families make. Please don’t lose heart. We need you. You are the keepers of the gates. Without you, who is going to keep us safe?

On the door at Compton Station is the phrase “Stamus Contra Malum,” which means, “We Stand Against Evil.” So stand tall and don’t be discouraged. You are the peacemakers and your reward will come. Paul says in Galatians, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone.”

I am so proud to be a part of this organization. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the finest agency of its kind for one good reason — you!