Thursday, August 03, 2017

The Best Police Officers Are In Fact Peace Officers

Throughout the 1800's all the way into the decade of the 1960's, "peace officer" was the term most often in America to refer to sheriffs, constables, troopers, marshals and any officer of the state or nation responsible for upholding the law. Today the old moniker of "peace officer" has been almost eliminated in popular usage, replaced by “police officer” or even “law enforcement officer.”

Sheriff Andy Taylor of the Andy Griffith Show is perhaps the best  example of what it once meant, at least to most Americans, to be a peace officer. Of course the Andy Griffith show was fictional, but it was based on the reality of how Americans viewed officials tasked with enforcing the law within a community. They kept "the peace" by being a "peacemaker." Just a few decades ago, most Americans would point to the character of Sheriff Taylor as the ideal for a "law enforcement official." 

Now, we have police in riot gear, heavy weaponry, masks, and bullet proof vests, often forcing submission on citizens rather than upholding peace in communities. I'm not saying the militarization of law enforcement officials is all the the fault of law enforcement agencies. Not at all. Culture has indeed changed. 

But America would be a better country if our police officers saw themselves as peace officers. 

There are still a few individual models of what a peace officer should like in America, peace officers that work in America's major metropolitan cities in 2017.

My Facebook friend Kiki Cherry introduces us to one via her Facebook post. She shared the story of what happened Friday night, July 28, 2017 when Kiki met Fort Worth Peace Officer Sergeant B. Halford. This encounter with Sergeant Halford beautifully demonstrates for us all the best qualities in a local peace officer. 
We had a very cool encounter last night with one of our Fort Worth police officers.
Doug and I were down on Magnolia street, meeting with one of my awesome young Compassion volunteers at a coffee shop there.
 Afterwards we were loitering in the parking lot and saying our goodbyes when we were approached by a panhandler.
She began telling us a woeful story about being homeless, and sounded truly pitiful and distraught. Just then a police officer walked up.
 He greeted us, then turned to the woman and asked if she needed a ride down to the shelter or help getting some food.
Suddenly her whole demeanor....and even her voice....changed, and she abruptly walked away.
He then turned and explained to us that she is an addict and was looking for money to go get her next fix.
 He spent the next ten minutes sharing with us the plight of the homeless in that area, and how we could engage them in a way that would be genuinely helpful but still compassionate.
I was impressed with his servant heart. He knew each of them by name, and seemed to be well acquainted with their stories. Yet he cared enough to not want to enable them in their addictions. He explained to us how giving money can be one of the worst responses to have and can hurt more than help. He also encouraged us that the best thing to do is to volunteer and invest in local churches and organizations that minister to the homeless.
We found out that when he was off-duty he routinely volunteered, even picking up food to take where there was a need and giving rides to shelters. He also owned a small construction company, and would often hire people he encountered and actively assist them to get back on their feet.
We asked him to tell us some practical ways that we could help. I had one of my Compassion business cards on me, and gave it to him so he could send us some information.
By the time we got home, there was already an email in my inbox....with attachments listing organizations that helped the homeless, and practical tips for how to engage in our community.
Thank you, Sergeant Halford, for your service to our city, and for giving of your time to educate us last night. You are definitely one of Fort Worth's finest!
Well done, Sergeant Halford. May your tribe of Peace Officers increase! 


Pege' said...

SALUTE to Officer Halford! We have officers like that here in Colorado Springs. We also have local folks who do a FANTASTIC job working with the ever growing homeless population. Since marijuana has been legalized here in Colorado, many come from all over the country here. Many of these precious volunteers and officers have made it a point to communicate the same information about we think we are helping them by giving them money when we are asked but truly we are not. They encourage those of us who want to help and make a difference to send the money to the organizations already set up and /or volunteer our time helping at the centers and food banks. It is hard to drive by some one asking for money knowing you have some to give. We usually hand out bottles of water to them, talk if we can and tell them of the places available to help them and see if they would like to go. Most accept the water but stay at the corner. I have learned some times to be like Jesus is not to hand them the money.

Christiane said...

Wade, I was very moved by this that was in the news about a young NYC policeman who helped a homeless man with no shoes:

I do agree that giving money is not in the best interest of many homeless people, but food and clothing, YES ..... my daughter used to buy sandwiches for a man who sat outside of the Panera where she frequently lunched . . . . an old man who seemed to be unwell and sat on the sidewalk hopeful of some food and who one day was no longer there, after which my daughter prayed for him that he was somewhere safe and fed

Anonymous said...

Good observation. "Police" is rooted in politics. Too many of current officers are simply "fleece" officers collecting money for the out of control State. The concept of law abiding citizens has practically been abolished by the fact that we are over-lawed (like Israel of Old). We all break laws practically everyday.

Guess it is what it is because we are nothing more than just animals in the eyes of the State.


Victorious said...

Color me guilty of giving to panhandlers....:(

I know...I know. But sometimes I think if that guy is desperate enough to stand out in this 100+degree heat, how do I really know what he will use my $10 for? I can't help myself.

In addition, many are begging in a place where conversation is not possible; i.e. at intersections, etc.

My nephew is a Captain on the police force so I should know better. :(

Mary Ann

Rex Ray said...

Our favorite recorded TV show is Andy Griffin.

Yesterday, a friend said after five years she had a ‘recollection’ like a flash of seeing a large truck coming at her before she was found unconscious with her neck and back broken. (I relate to her broken back…got another month to go before mine is well.)

Until the “flash”, she had no memory of what happened. Her son found her in a ditch and her motor scooter was still running against a wire fence.

Many months later, she received a notice to appear at a trial where she paid an $80 fine for not having a motor scooter license. The DA told the judge there was no law requiring a license for a scooter. The judge shouted back, “We have to charge her with something!”

That’s an example of NOT what your post is about.

Rex Ray said...

Not exactly on topic but is about the possibility of justice being revealed.

All this article tries to do is convict Oswald of killing JFK. The FBI and the CIA do not want the files to be released.

James Tague was wounded when JFK was killed. His book, “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing was published 50 years after the assignation. He lived in a town close to me and we became friends.

His book said 75 seconds after the first shot was fired, a policeman, Marrion Baker, pulled his gun on Oswald in the lunch room. After Oswald was identified as an employee, Oswald finished his lunch. (Electricity was cut off from the elevator and the stairway was the only way down.)

When the shooting stopped, Vickie Adams and Sandra Styles left their work stations on the fourth floor and used the stairs down.

For Oswald to leave the 6th floor, hide his rifle on the 5th floor, and take the stairs down, he would have had to pass the two women, but they saw no one.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Andy was a peace officer. Deputy Barney was law enforcement.

Anon (the other one) said, "Too many of current officers are simply 'fleece' officers collecting money for the out of control State." The office of sheriff was originally that of tax collector. This process continues with the taxation-by-citation policies of many departments and the with due-process-of-law free asset forfeiture laws.

Expect both of these egregious injustices to increase since there is no cost to the departments. When price goes down, more is demanded. When budgets are constrained, revenue sources will mulcted.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray - You BROKE YOUR BACK?!? When did THAT happen?

RB Kuter said...

I believe there are 2 occupations, no, perhaps 3, where those employed are terrifically underpaid to the point of it being disgusting, inexcusable and deplorable; Policepeople, firefighters-emergency medical and teachers.

As I say this, it brings to my mind the question, "So what can you do about it?" I think what I am going to do is to begin corresponding with my county commissioners, city council, School Board, state legislature about waking up and spending some money on these people. I see local police people who make so little that they have to rent low-rent apartments or very small houses. I should be ashamed. Not only is it irresponsible and cruel, but it creates an atmosphere conducive to corruption and abuse of authority.

Maybe when blaming our police we should take a look at the role we are playing in undermining their support base, hence, their sense of well being, esteem, and fulfillment in their career choice. I'm going to try to be better.

Rex Ray said...


I hate to admit it, but on July 1, I tried a NEW sled on my 40’ high slide. The sled flew through the air and did a cartwheel. Somewhere I departed and got a fractured back. We celebrated our second anniversary in the hospital. At present, I walk with a cane.

Your comment on raising salaries where needed has long been a low priority in our country.

RB Kuter said...

Brother Rex, you are one WILD AND CRAZY GUY! Even though we have never met in person, I must say that I am not surprised at your endeavor. God surely loves us and takes care of us. Glad you're getting better. At least you know how to coach the kids on how to use the slide now! I won't tell you to be careful.

Rex Ray said...


Someone said I should have tested that new sled with a dummy, and another said, “He did.” It was my 57 trip. It is on a 55 degree angle.

647 people have gone down the slide with total trips of 1,521. I keep a list on my computer and give a copy to each person with their name at the bottom.

I have a 14 foot diameter merry go round with chairs bolted down. There is a 30 foot seesaw. The ends have a chair, 6 foot board with hand rails.

Some like a swing best of all. It raises two feet when twisted up and drops when it unwinds. The number of turns twisted regulates how many times it goes up and down.

One kid said this as good as 6-flags; another said better…it’s free. One man took his 5 kids down in his lap for a total of 20 times. The list has comments. He said, “Wildest ride of my life. Wondered what Santa looked like; best present of my life.”

Parents were giving their 8 year old boy a hard time: “You rode everything at six-flags. Why is it taking you so long to come down?”
“Be quite! I’m praying.”

Rex Ray said...


On our Israel tour I took a picture from the bus of Jerusalem at sunset. I’ve never seen such glorious rays of light. (I have three grandsons born there.) I’ve made 300 copies and have given most to strangers. They ‘ooh and aah’.

My sister, brother-in-law, and his niece have just returned from Hungry on their third trip. We have bummed around a lot with the missionary there, Darrel Hathcock, his wife, and three nearly grown daughters.

They showed a picture that is more fascinating. It shows a church were many people were preparing to spread the Gospel. It appears there is a shaft of red and white light; bright as a rainbow coming out of the church steeple and ending in clouds.

If it was a rainbow, the camera would be under it or in front of it.

It was very dry as there had been no rain in a long time.;_ylc=X3oDMTFiaHBhMnJmBF9TAzIwMjM1MzgwNzUEaXRjAzEEc2VjA3NyY2hfcWEEc2xrA3NyY2hhc3Q-?p=can+a+rainbow+appear+without+rain&fr=yfp-t-s&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

This states there must be water droplets in the air to have a rainbow.

Wade Burleson said...


Would LOVE to have a "copy" of that rainbow. It would be a fantastic memento of our trip.

BTW, Lori Long has almost completed a video of the entire trip - it's AMAZING.

We'll make sure you get a copy.

Wade Burleson
Emmanuel Enid
2505 W. Garriott
Enid, Oklahoma 73703

Thanks, Rex

Rex Ray said...


You’re welcome. Photos are in the mail.

Nancy2 said...

In reference to police officers: I was widowed at a young age, and my father-in-law from my first marriage was a policeman in Hopkinsville, KY. He retired as police chief.

A man that served was on the same SF team as my current husband in the army joined the Hopkinsville police force when he left the military. When my daughter had to work nights in a bad part of town, this man always, always, always, went by to check on her.

My son-in-law is the IT guy for the city of Hopkinsville, so he works often for/with the policemen, firemen, and the EMTs.
That being said, I have a prayer request, if you don't mind: Hopkinsville (aka Eclipseville) is very close to ground zero for the upcoming solar eclipse. The eclipse coincides with Kelly Little Green Men Days festival, too. The area is expected to be smothered with visitors and heavy traffic (NASA and Ivanka Trump will be there). Locals are afraid the inundation of people and traffic will stretch the underpaid, under-respected public servants to their limits. (The city is going to provide an ATV for my son-in-law so that he can go off-road to reach locations where there are IT problems...... crazy!). Please pray for not just the people of Hopkinsville, but for the people of all cities that will be swamped in a couple of weeks, as well as the visitors.

I do not live in Hopkinsville, so my plan is to stock the pantry the week before, avoid the main roadways, and hunker down like an ice storm is coming!

Christiane said...


I still read your great comments on TWW and I always smile. I guess visitors from all over will descend to your area for the eclipse soon and you'll be fine.

If I were a visitor from out of town, and you were selling your canned goods and home cooking, I'd pay good money for it . . . . you could open a road stand and make a fortune.

Hope all is well with you. :)

Rex Ray said...

Nancy 2,

I hope your situation will result as well as it did Columbus. :)


Looking at the pictures is seen: “Jerusalem Sunset”.

Tomorrow is “Ray Reunion Day”. I don’t know how many will be present, but there are 8 in our house tonight.

I enjoyed talking with a nephew of a trip to Alaska in 1973. We delivered a school bus and church pews that had been donated to a church where my father was pastor. We put the waterproof bus seats on top and pews inside. There were ten of us. Only the driver could sit and the rest laid on pews that were padded.

Nerves got a little raw on the four day trip as we drove non-stop. He remembered his mother (my sister) did not like my driving, and yelled: “You may not care if your children are killed, but I care about mine!”

RB Kuter said...

Speaking of "pictures", let me try to envision this one;

Rex Ray, his nephew and nine others driving to Alaska in a school bus in 1973. They are delivering pews for the church where Rex's Dad is pastoring, so they take out the bus seats, put them on top of the bus, some how tying them down, I suppose, and fill the inside of the bus with pews for the church. This leaves only the driver's seat in the bus upon which to sit and all of the other nine have to find a means to rest on the pews. Apparently, everyone slept in the bus each of the 3 or 4 nights of the trips, with everyone finding space to sleep on top of the pews.

Am I getting this right? Sounds more hilarious and crazy than a Chevy Chase vacation movie! If I had not read many of the other Rex Ray accounts of his adventures, I would think that somebody smoking some whacky weed had hallucinated this up, but no, this sounds very typical of a Rex Ray extravaganza which just bolls me over every time I read one.

PLUS, the homemade amusement park rides that Rex Ray made in what must be a huge farm would sound too incredible to believe had he not sent me real pictures and video actually showing all of this going on. Rex Ray lives one incredible and dangerous life and it sounds like he is not slowing down!

At least wear a safety helmet, Rex! And maybe some bubble wrap!

Rex Ray said...


You are one funny guy.

Also on top of the bus was a boat and motor. :)

Rex Ray said...


You remind me of an event years ago. You’ve heard the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Fifty feet from where a tractor turned over and broke my father’s pelvis, I broke mine from a ladder falling, and we were at the same age of 74. Plus I had five broken ribs and a ruptured spleen.

My nine year-old grandson was trying to hold my ladder as I reached for one more pear. In college he wrote a paper “My Hero” where he said my greatest weakness was gravity.

Anonymous said...

Great article about the peace officers. They can be very nice but also be used like a weapon against the homeless. Found that out by reading this book called Wilderness - How to Marry Jesus in 10 Years or Less. It's about a family that gave up everything to follow God and went through homelessness. Powerful story. Changed my whole understanding of what the homeless go through.

Thank you for the article. Nice to hear there are great peace officers out there.