Monday, July 26, 2010

Like a prayer

It's been a long time since I've shared one of HF's on the job stories with y'all. Since I like to keep things light around here for the most part, here's one of the most unusual that I've heard in a long time that happened last night while HF was on duty.

HF and three other officers responded to an alarm at a local business. They found 4 college-aged males inside and arrested them without incident.  They brought them outside and based on the circumstances decided to issue the 4 guys misdemeanor citations with accompanying court dates and then let them go.  One by one each offender began crying as they were handed their citations.  They began asking the officers how this arrest would affect their future plans for schooling and jobs.  Then one of them asked, through his tears,

"Officers, will you pray with us?"

HF's old FTO was among the officers and the sergeant on duty for that night.  He responded with a resounding "No!" 

The boys looked even more dejected as the sergeant continued,

"We're the police and I don't like to mix religion with my enforcement activities.  Haven't you ever heard of separation of church and state?  We represent the law.  If you want to clear your conscience then go see your religious leaders but I'm not going to kneel down in the middle of the street and pray with you if that's what your after."

The boys looked at each of the officers as if they were pleading for a different response.  When they didn't get it, they went back to their car and stood in a circle.  Then they all knelt down and started to pray out loud.  HF and the other officers watched them until they finished and left the area.

HF's sergeant, who happens to be very religious himself, explained to the officers,

"I have no problem with prayer but officer safety and the impending lawsuit that would inevitably follow if we had prayed with these clowns is not worth the trouble."



Slamdunk said...

Interesting story.

I remember encountering a similar situation when I stopped two young guys in a park after hours. They were sitting with open Bibles at a picnic table.

I was going to let them go with a warning, but after checking one guy had an FTA for a traffic offense. After getting the guy cuffed and loaded into the car, the other one asked if we could pray.

As you mentioned for safety, I told him I'd pray for his friend but not with them. I did not considered the potential civil litigation aspect.

Ann T. said...

Dear Mrs. Fuzz,
Smart Sarge, and a good trainer too, I think. Awesome is right.
Ann T.

Pam Landy said...

It's amazing how many things like that cops have to be mindful of. At JB's briefing the other day, his sergeant warned everyone about Tea Party members who had been provoking LEOs with concealed carry issues. The sergeant pointed out that most of these people had video and audio recorders on all the time, and were trying to bait police into infringing on their gun rights. The sergeant then shared some choice descriptors for these types, and let the deputies know to call him if they were ever in a situation like that, and to be careful, careful, careful. :(

Momma Fargo said...

Interesting situation. Have never been crossed with that situation myself.

jediwife said...

Wow... lol I think it's funny how people always "get religion" after they get caught or in trouble. Most of the time if they'd been following the precepts of their religion they wouldn't have been doing whatever it is they got caught doing. Smart decision on the part of the sergeant.