While researching for a topic to discuss on Dog Watch, I came across an article from Spiked, an online British magazine that caught my eye entitled A woke police force is the last thing we need, by Joanna Williams. It turns out that England’s and Wales’ police agencies are under pressure from their government to implement the “Police Race Action Plan” that was developed by the UK’s College of Policing. After reading much of the action plan, I discovered that the plan goes beyond seeking measures to ensure officers are not being bias against people with a background different from theirs while carrying out their policing functions. The plan begins with the assumption that agencies are racist. In other words, the plan assumes England’s and Wales’ law enforcement officers (LEOs) are racist and act in racially discriminatory ways when enforcing the law. The plan requires officers to report any overheard comment by a fellow employee they deem to be racist.
No matter what side of the political spectrum one falls on, all agree that officers should not show bias when policing. The action plan seeks to accomplish that goal through education and punishment (of officers and agencies). A civilian oversight panel determines who are racist and will monitor the plan’s implementation. My concern is that, while I’m sure the plan’s writers are well-meaning, I don’t believe their goal will be achieved through education telling them that being bias is wrong, or by threats of punishment.
Officers don’t need to be trained not to be bias when enforcing the law, they know right from wrong. What needs to be changed is the heart. The Bible says, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:21-23). Change the heart and behavior will change. This is one reason chaplains are important for LEOs. Chaplains minister to officers’ hearts. Keep chaplains in prayer as they minister.
Israel Tour 2024!
The Strong Blue Line is hosting an Israel Tour in March 2024. Former police officer, author, and national speaker, Adam Davis will join Paul Vanhoeven and me for the 12-day trip. We’ll be leaving Atlanta with a direct flight to Tel Aviv on March 13th and returning on March 24th. The cost is $4,846 per person, double occupancy. For more information email me, office@TheStrongBLueLine.org.
The Strong Blue Line on the Road
June was full of travel. On June 1st, I was scheduled to fly from Idaho Falls, ID to Denver, CO for a week-long intensive workshop in Loveland, of which I was a student. Two hours before by 5 pm flight, United Airlines called and informed me that the flight was canceled. I jumped in my truck and headed for Loveland. I arrived at my hosts’ house shortly before midnight. The first day of training was a bit tough, but very eye-opening.
The workshop was facilitated by Jon and Peggy Sperling of Clarity Christian College (CCC; formerly Florida Bible College). The training was for those who were asked to serve on the curriculum team to develop curricula for CCC. In addition to rebranding the college, leadership wants to make Christian education more affordable and accessible by working with local churches across the nation to provide certificates of training as well as diplomas. The college desires to prepare learners to make a difference for God’s Kingdom where they live and work. One important project I was asked to work on is creating curriculum for a chaplain’s course that is certified through CCC.
On Saturday, June 11, our Christian Motorcyclist Association’s Chapter supported the Idaho State Police’s “Sunny Side Up” motorcycle awareness rally in Ammo, ID. While there, we presented copies of Winning a Gunfight to the seven motor officers who were present.
After a couple days back home, I headed north to Missoula, MT where I co-taught with Charlie Scoma, a friend and fellow chaplain (Seattle, WA PD). Charlie and I taught the International Conference of Police Chaplains’ 12-course basic chaplaincy class to ten Montana chaplains from sheriff offices across Montana. Enroute to Missoula, I gave away two copies of Winning a Gunfight at gas stations. One was to a Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Officer and another to a Montana State Trooper. Both officers were very grateful for the book.
After a couple nights back in Idaho Falls, Sherry and I headed to Gillette, WY where Pastor Philip Jones ask me to present The Strong Blue Line Ministries and preach at Roadway Alliance Church. The following week, we stayed in Gillette for the Christian Motorcyclists Association’s National Rally. After spending 18 of the first 25 days of June on the road, I was happy to be back home for July. I’ll start back at it in August.
Pray for your police.