Another week comes to a close. I receive a lot of news that was most unpleasant to receive and comprehend.
An old Trooper friend suffered the unexpected death of his 57 year old son. This young man affected many lives for the better all around where he lived. The Memorial Service was this week and I could not go. They had to use the local high school… There was standing room only with people lining the walls of the auditorium.
The news of the shooting attack in Aurora, Colorado, boggles the mind…
In a crowded theater, many targets available… Why? The suspect is not talking… Four guns, 70 casualties, 12 of them dead… Sickening to the heart of a caring person.
8 soldiers paid the ultimate price this week… 77 were wounded.
Law Enforcement :
A Cook County, IL, Corrections Officer is killed crossing the street to work by a hit-and-run driver…
An off duty, Lumberton, NC, officer is shot and killed trying to arrest a wanted man…
Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Reach 52-year Low in First Six Months of 2012
(From the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund)
According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 53 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2012. This is a 44% decrease from the 94 fatalities that occurred in 2011 during the same time period.
Traffic-related fatalities were once again the leading cause of officer fatalities, with
21 officers killed in the first half of 2012.
17 officers were killed in automobile crashes,
3 were struck and killed, and
1 officer was killed in a motorcycle crash.
However, traffic-related fatalities decreased by 36% from 33 officers killed during the first six months of 2011.
“After two years of rising numbers of peace officer fatalities, the law enforcement community has joined together to make officer safety the utmost priority,” said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd. “It is good to see those efforts paying off and the number of peace officer fatalities decreasing thus far in 2012.”
Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas were the deadliest states in the nation thus far in 2012 with three fatalities each. Eight states (Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Utah) each lost two officers during the same period.
The good news is the reduction in officer fatalities. The bad news is that they are still dying by the hands of others and sometimes by their own actions in vehicle crashes.
Will there ever be a time in which no Peace Keepers will be dying violent deaths? Not in the world as we know it today!
Death is part of life and I have lived long enough and dealt with it often enough to know that… But that does not make it any easier to deal with.
Those of us in the people business just have learn how to function well in spite of it, even when it is one of our own dear ones. I know the death of a loved one is devastating! I know the grief, pain and emptiness!… But I also know that by the Grace of God and our own professionalism that we can go through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” and help others to make the Journey as well. We must learn to put a faucet or control valve on our grief and control it when others need our help… Then consciously let it out and deal with it ourselves in ways that will relieve us and help to keep us balanced… You must also know that you cannot turn it off and never deal with it, that will be destructive to you and all around you! It will come out sometime and usually when you do not want it to come out if you try to avoid dealing with it altogether!
No period of my whole life has been without the death of someone or something close to me for any great length of time. I decided to learn all I could about it. Of course, my primary source was the Bible, but it was not my only source. Many resources were available as I did my search… Books, films, videos, articles from many sources… And lots of personal experience mixed into all of the resources. I dealt with it so much and so often, even teaching on the subject, that one of my nick-names in the police department here was “Dr. Death”. During all of the process I have walked through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” with a lot of people over a very long period of time. Death is a natural part of living but it can be rushed before it’s time by not knowing what we are doing or by doing something that can cause it. Death must be expected on a battlefield of any kind…
And most of the places where a Peace Keeper goes is a potential battlefield.
Evil is the ultimate, initiating cause of many deaths. Peace Keepers are committed to facing and defeating evil, that is part of our oath of office. Sometimes we are surprised or taken unawares. Sometimes we go even when we know death is waiting there for us to do us in if it can… But we go because if we do not go, evil wins by default. We are in the peace keeping business to attain the best possible results… The best possible results demand that we defeat evil whenever and wherever we can. Otherwise there would be no Life as we know it today… So Peace Keepers must go!..
And those of us who survive must deal with the aftermath when the immediate battle is concluded… But always knowing within ourselves that as long as life here continues as we now know it… The battle with and against evil will rise and fall again and again for as long as we are here to fight it.
We also must learn that evil comes in many forms and sometimes it takes a while to recognize it in it’s latest disguise… Therefore we must be ever vigilant. I give my thanks and appreciation to all of those who have been on the field going and doing this week and today. Some of our cohorts did not return. Hopefully a new group of Peace Keepers will rise up to take their places and increase our size and abilities as a whole, professionally, as we keep on doing all we are capable of doing to make more and more possible the experience of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for all law abiding people.
“BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!” ALWAYS be alert, watchful, suspicious and wary. Take the very best care of you as you care for and about others. See to the strength and well being of your spirit as well as all the rest of yourself. Your spirit must be strong for you to be successful. All of this is by your own choice… He has made provision for you but it is up to you to learn it, take it and put it to use for the best results possible.
Call or write if I may be of any service… Or if you just want to encourage me… Feedback encourages all who write… It helps to know we are reaching someone who reads the message.
Donna is still in the hospital but today I received a large shipment of IV supplies to stow away and prepare for her return. Her doctor is more cautious this time so maybe by midweek.
No news from Donnie this week since the truck was wrecked last week.
I have had a difficult, demanding week that has kept me very busy trying to handle it all. I was so tired this morning that I woke up late and then took half a day to get to my desk. Now it is time for a dinner break and then back for more work.
Thanks for all of the prayers, for the responses with encouraging remarks and for all of the manifest care and concern. I deeply appreciate all of my readers and responders.
As it has always been… So it still is!!!
“VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST…
AND THEN GO TO WAR,
WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST…
AND THEN SEEK TO WIN.” Sun tzu
Training and practice are everything!
Without them, the best results are not obtained!
ONLY LIVE PEACE KEEPERS SEE THE VICTORY!!!
THEY SEE IT ONLY BECAUSE OTHERS HAVE MADE THEIR ETERNAL PAYMENTS OF SWEAT, BLOOD, TEARS AND LIFE FOR THAT VICTORY!
WITH THE DEEPEST OF APPRECIATION AND RESPECT…
BE BLESSED (A CONDITION TO BE ENVIED)…
BE SUCCESSFUL… BE SAFE…
[My injunction to be safe means doing all you know to do as you do your job... it means doing the best you can with what you have where you are using all your faculties to get the job done well and with good results conquering evil and keeping or restoring peace... it does not mean to avoid duty and honor... it does not mean to cower or allow anything to hinder you in the process of duty according to rules, law and ethics... it means that if the demand takes your earthly life you destroy as much evil as possible in the process. That is my definition of being safe... doing the best you can and leaving the rest to God or whomever else is responsible... being best employed for the sake and protection of all the things and people that we hold dear.]
I represent, write for… and give the credit to:
God the Father (my Commander-in-Chief),
Jesus Christ the Son (the Eternal Captain of my life) and
the Holy Spirit of God (my Eternal Teacher, Keeper and Guide).
In Christ I live… with Him and for you I serve…
And I rejoice that you are there whether you are Christian or not…
For God, Country and the Peace Keeper…
D. R. (Don) Staton, Chaplain to Peace Keepers,
Surviving Peace Keeper,
Virginia State Police Alumni,
RETIRED Police Officer,
RETIRED Police Instructor,
RETIRED Chaplain Administrator,
Community Service Officer (Traffic Safety),
Virginia Beach Police Dept.
3709 Beacon Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
All rights reserved. This Message:
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Except for quoted material attributed to a specific source, all material in CHAPLAIN CORNER is my personal opinion gained from 49 years of working with people in peace keeping and is not to be construed to represent the policies and opinions of any department with whom I have served or am serving.
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