Recently, violence against law enforcement officers has escalated. According to ABC News, the number of officers killed by gunfire has increased 20% over last year. Not only are the attacks more lethal, but many are premeditated. The surge in violence is not limited to the large metropolitan areas. Violence has reared its ugly head in small towns and villages across America.
Allen, Kentucky, is so small it doesn’t have its own police department; and that’s where fugitive Lance Storz, 49, was holed up. In addition to outstanding warrants, Storz was accused of domestic assault and a judge issued a protective order on him. Two deputies from the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) were ambushed by Storz while they attempted to serve the warrants. Officers from numerous surrounding jurisdictions responded to help. They were met with a barrage of gunfire. The investigation revealed that Storz fired hundreds of rounds at officers from prepositioned firearms throughout his house. Deputy William Petry (FCSO) and Captain Ralph Frasure (Prestonsburg PD) were shot and killed at the scene. Officer Jacob Chaffins (PPD) succumbed to gunshot wounds the following day. A FCSO canine was also shot and killed during the incident. Additionally, Deputy Darrin Lawson, Constable Gary Wolfe, and Floyd County Emergency Director Joe Reynolds were injured during the shooting.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt said the officers “encountered pure hell…they had no chance” when they faced the wanted Storz on June 30. Governor Andy Beshear said, “This is another hard morning for Kentucky as we mourn the loss of three brave officers and a K-9 who gave their lives while protecting the people of Floyd County. Britainy and I ask the commonwealth to join us in praying for the family and loved ones of Captain Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry and Officer Jacob Chaffins. Let us stand together in honoring these heroes and their sacrifice, and pray for a full recovery for those injured.”
Deputy William Petry, 60, was a 31-year law enforcement veteran. He served two years with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, 15 years with Kentucky State Police, and 14 years with Prestonsburg Police Department. Police Captain Ralph Frasure, 60, was a 39-year law enforcement veteran. He served with the Prestonsburg Police Department since 1983. Officer Jacob Chaffins, 28, was a 3-year veteran of the PPD and a military veteran.
Pray for the families and agencies of these fallen officers.
Doors continue to open for seminars and speaking engagements. This month begins with the honor to speak at the SHIELD 616 special service at my home church, Watersprings in Idaho Falls. Jake Skifstad, founder of SHIELD 616 raises money through local donations to provide rifle-rated body armor for officers working patrol. Generally, this special gear is only issued to special tactical units. But as the above incident in Kentucky demonstrates, rifle-rated armor is necessary for officers working the daily beat.
On the 10th, Sherry and I will head north where I’ll be speaking at a law enforcement couple’s retreat at Protector’s Peak in the Idaho panhandle. Nate and Becky Harder will host the retreat that was booked full several weeks ago. Next month, I’m off to Olympia, WA, to train and be trained at the International Conference of Police Chaplains Regional Training Seminar for the NW Region. October will find me in Alabama presenting at least four seminars around the state with the Blue Watch Foundation. It’s back down south in November for a chaplains’ training seminar in Baton Rouge, LA at the state police headquarters.
Fort Wainwright Project
Thanks so much to all of you who supported our special project! We’ve wrapped up our Fort Wainwright Ministry Project and have shipped copies of Suicide is Not an Option, Hope in Man’s Search for Meaning to the arctic military post. Recently, I contacted Chaplain (MAJ) Tony Cech who is stationed at Ft. Wainwright. He was extremely grateful for the books and agreed to see the books are distributed to the chaplains. The chaplains will ensure the books are made available to the soldiers. Chaplain Cech also requested continued prayer for the soldiers, and the chaplains who are ministering to them. We chatted for several minutes, and he confirmed that northern Alaska is a tough area to minister where there seems to be a spiritual darkness that compounds the depression of the long, cold, and dark winters. Pray the books will be a blessing and help prevent suicide.
Raw Emotions from NC Sheriff
Watch as Sheriff Chuck Wright of Spartanburg County (SC) gives an emotional press briefing after Deputy Austin Aldridge, 25, was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call. Watch at least the first four minutes of the video by clicking here.
Pray for your police.