Summary: There is a wind of confrontation blowing between law enforcement and the public in our society. There are some bad police officers, but a majority of them are good and out to protect us. Today, we invite them to worship with us and to pray for them.
TO SERVE AND TO PROTECT
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God¡¦s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God¡¦s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience¡¦ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God¡¦s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
INTRODUCTION: ¡§TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE¡¨
Christ jubilee has a long history of collaboration with the Lowell Police Dept: from Supt. Ed Davies to Supt. Ken Lavalee. I served on the Lowell Police Advisory Committee when the city was recognized by the Justice Department for its proactive policing policy. I have a picture taken with Janet Reno the Attorney General of the USA under Bill Clinton when she came to Lowell. Some of our folks are in Citizenship Policing ¡V Bis. Jackson, Sis. Yvonne, Sis. Gessie, etc. So coming together to bridge gap when relationship between law enforcement and some communities are strained is a must. WE must be proactive rather than reactive.
MOTTO OF MOST POLICE DEPTS: ¡§To Protect & Serve¡¨
In February 1955, the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a contest for a motto for the police academy. The winning entry was the motto, "To Protect and to Serve". Most police departments in America have adopted the motto.
Police & Community (Church) meetings should be held at a time like this when the nation remains focused on the issue of police killings and accountability, especially since the shootings of Michael Brown (allegedly stole cigarettes from a convenience store), Eric Garner (selling on the street corner), Ramarley Grahams (had weed in his pocket), Walter Scott (may have been scared by a child support payment or because he didn't have registration for the car he was driving.) These and more have shaken the relationship between police and the people they serve.
Policing Is A Risky Profession. Per the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 117 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2014. In 2013, 107 officers were killed. Policemen of all levels are our peacemakers. They stand in the gap to keep the peace, all too often in an ever-increasing world of violence. Having a peaceful society is necessary in order to enable people to worship God. Peacemakers must sometimes enforce the peace by taking troublemakers into custody and/or punishing them. Not only are police peacemakers, but God gives us instructions on our relationship with the police. Titus 3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good. And when someone does something terribly wrong to us, we are to let the policemen, God¡¦s appointed servants, handle any retribution. Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over you, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do their duty with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Not all policemen are bad ¡V there are a few bad ones. What happens when we place the good and the bad in the same category? We become like Baltimore with recent soaring crime rate: The public outcry against the entire Police Department in the wake of Freddie Gray¡¦s death led to a relaxed Police response. Through 29 days of May 2015, there were 42 homicides and 104 nonfatal shootings; while there were 23 homicides and 39 nonfatal shootings in Baltimore in May 2014. Why are arrests down so sharply? First, some cops fear that criminals have turned more aggressive and confrontational after a year of allegations of police brutality - from the protests in Ferguson to the shooting of two officers in New York to riots across America. Crime rates are up in many major cities nationwide. Second, for other officers, it is fear of being charged than being killed in the line of duty.