The Day the Police Picked Me Up

Dear Church Family,

Not too long ago, I took four hours to do something that I’ve never tried before: I decided to ride with the Centerville Police Department. After setting up the ride, I showed up at my selected time and began the process of being acclimated to the new environment.

From the attention to detail, to the checklists, to the meticulous care he took with his stuff, I knew that Officer Thomas was experienced. When I found out that he was a 25-year veteran of the force, I was surprised because he looked young. He told me that the one thing the CPD isn’t short of is experience. These are officers who care deeply for their job and, as a result, have been around for a long time. It was obvious to me that this wasn’t just a job, it was a calling to serve.

When we rode around the city, I learned about how new areas have been annexed over the years, how the traffic has escalated, and how people seem to get angry more quickly than ever before. When I asked Officer Thomas what  the hardest part of his job was he said it was heroin. He estimated that 50% of his work was drug-related or theft that was drug-related. The epidemic that is at the heart of the City of Dayton is the same epidemic that is at the heart of Centerville.

Sometimes it may feel like our community is exempt from these problems, but the truth is that we are as vulnerable as anyone.

I ended our time together asking him what our church could do for the community and what could we do for the people of Centerville?

His response was simple, profound, and biblical (although I suspect he didn’t know it at the time). He looked me in the eyes and he said, “We need the church to be a resource. As officers we know how to stop the crime, but we don’t always know how to get the people the help they need.”

Imagine that:  a church that is called to help the people.  That’s something I think we can all get behind.

Together in the Mission,

Pastor Tony

p.s. I have to give credit for this idea to the amazing Rosario Picardo. Check out his church planters coaching blog!