DOES IT HAVE TO BE DRAMATIC TO COUNT?
Officer Tiffany Haston
Indianapolis, IN, Metropolitan Police Department
THIS STORY isn’t dramatic compared with those of many police officers. In the course of my duties, I have arrested violent felons, chased bad guys down dark alleys, and driven 110 miles per hour to reach partners who were fighting for their lives in a gun battle. I don’t have that one story that shocks people, but I do have the belief that every day there is an opportunity to change or save someone’s life. A victim I helped years ago recently nominated me for a major award. To my recollection there was nothing special about that case, but it had impacted her in a way that made her remember me years later.
Drive time is prayer time. “Lord, I need your wisdom today.” I ask God to watch over police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and soldiers who potentially are in the line of fire every time they go to work. Decisions must be made quickly, so I ask God to help me make good decisions.
One of those might be to take someone’s life. In spite of what some think, that decision is not taken lightly. People often ask, “Have you ever shot anyone?”
My response? “No, thank God! If I had, that would mean the person had been trying to kill me or someone else.”
When I go to work or simply drive my police car off-duty down the street, I have no idea what I will encounter. I have been kicked in the face, spat on, cursed at, and called names, all while trying to do the job I took an oath to do. The relationship many people have with the police is similar to what some people have with the Lord: They like us only when they need us. When I find my relationship with God slacking off, I try to remember how that feels.
Whether we push someone’s car out of the snow or save twenty hostages from a robbery, we can and do make a difference every day. As police officers, we see the worst of the worst parts of society every day. It is easy to become frustrated and forget that something we do could affect someone for the rest of their lives. So, when I put that badge on day after day I pray, “Lord, please guide me today in all I do. Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”