Every time we turn around, it seems that law enforcement personnel are in the news. We’re told that cops are evil racists out to hurt us all. Protests, looting, and gang violence has become an expected reaction to police activity in many communities.
But when you take a step back from the hype, most people recognize that the vast majority of our police officers aren’t racist. They aren’t out to get us. In most cases, quite the opposite. Our police keep our cities and communities safe. They’re here to protect and help us, and they do.
Yet it’s rare that we read about their sacrifice and service in our newspapers, or hear reports of police heroism on our national news. Did you hear about the 7 Denver police officers recently recognized for their courage? What about the off-duty police officer who saved an elderly man from a burning gas station? Those aren’t random stories. They’re every day stories, stories that take place in communities across this country on a daily basis. They’re stories of American heroes. But they’re stories we don’t hear!
It’s two such American heroes we want to talk about today.
Amanda Pettepher was a Sergeant in Cartersville, GA. Nearly a year ago, she and another officer, David Bojczuk, began a prison ministry with the approval of the Cartersville Police Chief. The two officers would visit the Bartow County Jail after hours – on their own time – to give the Gospel and pray with the inmates.
No one was forced to participate in the program, and Amanda says they weren’t discussing the criminal activities of the inmates – they were only talking about Jesus. Then, several weeks ago, the District Attorney expressed concern over the prison ministry being a conflict of interest, and Sgt. Pettepher and Officer Bojczuk were given an ultimatum.
Stop their prison ministry, or resign their positions. “If I have to choose between my job and my Lord and Savior, I choose my faith every time,” Pettepher said in this interview with Fox 5 Atlanta.
David and Amanda had been doing this for almost a year. No one had complained. The Police Chief had given permission. It was on their own time. Criminal cases weren’t being discussed. It was only happening once a month. Which begs the question, what changed? Given no other explanation, we can’t help but think this another case of political correctness run amok.
Amanda and David are no longer with the Cartersville Police. Instead, they chose to resign and continue their ministry at the Bartow County Jail. A community lost two fine officers because they were told they could not use their time off to pray with criminals.
How messed up is that?
In a day when our law enforcement personnel are regularly ridiculed by the media, shouldn’t we be encouraging those who are seeking to help their community not only on-duty, but off duty, as well? And when did talking with someone about Jesus when you’re not on the job become something you could be fired for on the job?
We say kudos to David and Amanda. We need more people who care enough to invest in their communities on their own time, not less. What say you? Sound off in the comments below!
by Krystal Heath, follow her on Twitter