The faith leader and pastor at Peace Lutheran Church is Pastor Berry Scruggs. He has recently met with Officer Mark Kelly of the Portland Police Bureau through the OneCOP Initiative. As an initial activity, suggested by the OneCOP guidelines, Pastor Scruggs went on a Ride Along with Officer Kelly. Here is what the Paster had to say about the ride along.
Having been a firefighter, I was familiar with what law enforcement officers did on various calls. However, after spending five hours on a ride-along the other day, here are a few things I now have a better understanding of police work:
- How aware the public is of an officer’s presence around them.
- How much an officer has to be aware of all that is around them, and how keen their skills of observation must be.
- Another reminder of just how “on edge” first responders can be as we responded to calls.
- While listening in on roll call, just how much an officer has to remember while on patrol.
- What an impressive sense of meaning being in law enforcement can add to an officer’s life.
- How dedicated the Portland Police officers are to protecting and serving the public.
- How grateful police are for the public who supports them.
- How appreciative I was for the opportunity to be with these people and learn these things.
An example of the above would be that, during the ride-along, we were called to a local restaurant where two three-year old girls were reported missing. Officer Kelly hit the lights and siren and we rushed to the location to help in the search. We talked of what we would do and our hopes that they would be found quickly and be OK. We began our search only to find one of the employees walking towards us with two young girls in her arms and the relief we felt was immeasurable. There were hugs all around, including the officers involved, as they were reunited with their parents. After a brief investigation, we took a deep breath of relief and returned to patrolling the neighborhood. I was most impressed with Officer Kelly’s intense desire to help these families find their children and his willingness to do whatever it would take to protect them.. I thank God every day for people like him and the other officers sworn to defend us from what is evil in the world.
Pastor Berry Scruggs, Peace Lutheran Church