After recent back to back stories of officer involved shootings and deadly assaults against officers, Grandview Police Department Chaplain Brent Hulett and Retired Police Chief Dave Charvet began discussing what could be done to help support law enforcement during this difficult time.
This led to a meeting between Dr Hulett, Dave Charvet and Police Chiefs Al Escalera, David Giles, and Kal Fuller. Also meeting with the group was Sunnyside Chaplain Bob Widmann. Widmann shared that his church in Sunnyside has for years taken it as a special goal to pray for Sunnyside police officers. It was also discovered that there was a national program called "Adopt-a-Cop" with similar goals.
Each agency had experienced people trying to find a way to show support in opposition of the negativity they were seeing play out around the country. There are some barriers to this, such as individual officers not being able to accept gifts from the public. At the first meeting on Thursday, September 15th, turned out around 60 community members with interest to in just saying "thank you" to officers for their service and showing their support for the "Pray-for-a-Cop" program.
The "Pray-for-a-Cop" program was envisioned as a way to appropriately express thanks and show support without violating any ethical rules for the officers. The funds for the organization and implementation of the program were generously provided by the Grandview Nazarene Church.
After much work, the "Pray-for-a-Cop" program has been created to provide support for those who protect us by those in the community who are willing to commit to praying for them.
The "Pray-for-a-Cop" program provides templates for Law Enforcement Agencies to use to create flyers that can be given to churches. Depending on the agency, the flyers have a combination of pictures, names, and duties of department employees. Local churches or individuals can request the flyers for their local agency. The churches can determine how the program would best work for them. The idea is that the flyers would be handed out to people within that church that would like to commit to praying for the officers on a regular basis.
The Law Enforcement administrators involved in the program will be available to meet with local churches to provide the flyers for the program and to explain how it works. If a church would like to have someone come to present the program to their congregation, that will be arranged.
The program is open to any place of worship as a group or anyone who would like to take part as an individual. Spanish language translations are also available.
It is the policy of the "Pray-for-a-Cop" program that any cards of encouragement for officers are to be sent to the officer's department address. There will be no personal contact with participants unless initiated by the Officer. Notes directed to an officer must serve only to encourage and express appreciation. Scripture may be included if you desire. This is not an avenue for evangelization or to preach. It is to provide prayer coverage and support only.
The purpose of "Pray-for-a-Cop" is to assign law enforcement officers and support staff to a church, family, group, or individual who will pray for them. The suggestion is also made for these people to send notes of encouragement, support, or thank you, for law enforcement's service to the community.
Everyone can make a difference in the lives of those who put their lives on the line for us every day! While a bulletproof vest gives a level of protection for our law enforcement officers, an even greater blessing and shield of protection can be found in the power of individuals offering up prayers for them.
Besides the obviously high physical risk in their profession, officers also have a risk of becoming cynical, feeling hopeless, having relationship problems, succumbing to alcohol abuse and even becoming suicidal. The divorce and suicide rates among those in law enforcement are well above the national average
"Pray-for-a-Cop" brings together those who protect us, with those who can protect them, through prayer.