Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Hug a police officer. It's the law! (Author Unknown)
After completing my classes at the International Conference of Police Chaplains, I was afforded the opportunity of riding along with an on-duty Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The officer to which I was assigned patrolled in the vicinity of Orange Blossom Trail; an area in Orlando known for its strip clubs, prostitution, drugs and gang activity. Officer Rodriquez was Puerto Rican; bright, friendly, dedicated and all business when on the job. He briefed me on what to expect. When we got into his patrol car he said, “I don’t know how you feel about guns but if something happens out there tonight the bad guys are not going to know that you are not a cop. If something happens they may come after you.” He showed me a button that unlocked his shotgun hanging on the wire screen behind my head. “All you have to do is pump it once and pull the trigger.” He also pointed to an orange button. “If I go down,” he instructed, “you push that button and lay low—help
will be on the way.” The first call of the evening was a domestic violence incident; we were back-up for another officer. We listened to both sides of the story and stayed on scene until another car arrived. We rode through several neighborhoods monitoring gang graffiti; Officer Rodriquez interpreted the symbols and talked about gang activity in Orlando.
A call came over the radio; an officer was in pursuit of a car thief. With lights
on and siren blaring we took off. Officer Rodriquez seemed relaxed and confident
speeding through traffic but it was a little unnerving for me. The chase ended a few miles away. The culprit abandoned the car and disappeared into a densely populated neighborhood. Several cars arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the area. A canine unit was dispatched but before the suspect was apprehended we received another call. With siren blaring and lights flashing we arrived at an apartment complex where a man was threatening his family with a gun. He barricaded himself inside his apartment. There must have been a hundred officers on scene. The S.W.A.T. team was their planning strategy and a command site was set up. Every road leading into the complex was blocked. After two hours of negotiation the distraught person surrendered and was
taken into custody without incident.
Back at the hotel I attempted to process my emotions. It was as through I had been in a theme park all evening. Some rides were scary, causing my heart to leap inside my chest; others simply spun me around, giving me a sick feeling inside. But the most impressive part of all was the power connected to one push of an orange button. All the authority of the Sheriff and his department lay at my fingertip; more power than I would ever need in any given situation. In the same way every follower of Christ; every person who is willing to call on the Lord is connected to His power. You are not alone; push the button;
call on God in prayer and He will be there for you.