Policing is often described as hours of boredom punctuated by moments of excitement; I can attest that’s an accurate description. The problem is, most calls become routine and it’s these “routine calls” that take officers by surprise. An officer from Sour Lake, Texas was recently surprised at such a call. In the latest census there were only 1,813 residents of Sour Lake. The small town is located in Hardin County, northeast of Houston. The police department consists of a chief, an investigator, and six patrol officers. It’s the kind of small-town department where young officers begin their careers and move on to larger agencies and where older officers go to retire. Fifty-nine-year-old Officer William McKeon fell into the latter category, 2019 marks his fourth year with Sour Lake PD.
While Memorial Day celebrations were winding down, Officer McKeon was dispatched to check on a man loitering at a Valero gas station—a routine call. Officer McKeon arrived and was suddenly and violently attacked by the suspicious man, later identified as a 45-year-old white male. McKeon suffered multiple fractures to his nose, jaw, orbital bones, and neck. After assaulting the officer, the suspect fled in McKeon’s patrol cruiser and was later arrested and booked into jail. Officer McKeon was airlifted to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont where, at the time of this writing, he was in critical, but stable condition. The officer is in a medically induced coma and faces multiple surgeries. The family request prayer for his recovery.
At the end of May and first week of June, I was in Orlando, Florida for the Christian and Missionary Alliance’s (Alliance) biannual General Council meeting. Chaplain Bob Collins, the Executive Director of the Alliance Chaplain Ministries, invited me to speak at the chaplain’s banquet and to provide training for the chaplains the following day. It was an honor to be invited and speak and teach. Both events were well attended, and I received positive feedback. Each chaplain received a copy of Winning a Gunfight and Winning is More than Surviving.
While in Orlando, I reconnected with Dr. Stan (and Carol) Ponz, president of Florida Bible College (FBC) and founder of Make It Clear ministries. Dr. Ponz led the youth group when my dad attended FBC in the mid-70’s. I have fond memories of my older brother Ron and me attending the youth meetings, and Dr. Ponz giving clear, biblical messages (and swallowing an occasional gold fish to keep us engaged!). On Saturday evening I spoke at Circle Community Church about church shootings and the violence in America. I was also able to present The Strong Blue Line ministry. Dr. Ponz interviewed me for the Make It Clear radio program. In the near future, the interview will be broadcast on radio stations across the country, sent out as a podcast, and be available on their website. I’ll let you know when the interview is available.
In July, I’ll be traveling to Wichita, Kansas to teach at the International Conference of Police Chaplains’ Annual Training Seminar, then it’s off to Colorado Springs, Colorado to speak at the Faith Based Security Network’s annual Security Operations Summit. You may ask, “Why are you leaving Idaho in July to travel south?” I question that myself!
For our July service, Cop Church Idaho Falls will be hosting a “Drive-by-Prayer” night. We’re inviting our community to come by on Tuesday, July 9th from 7 to 8:30 pm for a doughnut and a drink. They can bring a prayer request and we’ll pray for them. It’s our way of ministering to our community and saying thank you for supporting your law enforcement officers.
A while back I came across Daniel Sundahl, a Canadian artist, who specializes in first-responder art. His work is amazing, and he’s given me permission to use his art for The Strong Blue Line. His artwork will be featured at the bottom of the newsletters. You can check out his art at DanSunPhotos.com.
Pray for your police.