Pardon the dramatic introduction, but I read somewhere that such a statement as, “Greetings and salutations,” was proclaimed as an important character returned to the stage. Okay, maybe not important, but one that had been missed for a while? Missed or not, I have returned to writing missives for Blue Lines after some downtime.
Slaughtered While Doing Their Job
I will be honest here…after the rapidly accumulated murders of police officers in our nation during July, I ran out of things to say. Nothing I could generate had any wind in its sails. All the warnings and dire admonishments of where the anti-law enforcement campaign was going to lead us came true and no one seemed to notice that it could have been circumvented if only we had paid heed to those who sounded those concerns. Peace officers had been slain. They weren’t just dead; they had been slaughtered while doing their job. Worse, as often is the case, their funerals became stages for politicians to grab the spotlight and trumpet their own agendas. I’d witnessed it first hand in the past with the stoic continence adopted by officers and deputies in the face of tragedy and loss of their peers. But, this time it made me puke. And then, the sadness was replaced by anger and a barely controllable rage. So I needed some time to cool down and regain a civil tongue for further contributions to this column.
A Reminder of My Own Mortality
Coincidentally, God chose that same time to hit me with another dramatic reminder of my own mortality and the precarious nature of life. As most of my readers know, I had cancer about 10 years ago, with a lot of surgery. Well, all the scar tissue and a mound of surgical mesh that has been holding me together became infected and had to be removed. Thanks to my ongoing good relationship with my original surgeon, he pulled me into the operating room on short notice at midnight and cored out the problem before I got into more serious trouble. As a result, I had two large open wounds in my abdomen…one about the size of a fist and the other about the size of a golf ball. With the help of gadgets and specialized vacuum dressings, complements of the military’s medical R&D, I started the slow recovery. I’m just getting back on my feet, but well enough to throw some lines together.
A Lot Has Been Happening…Little of It Good
Meanwhile, a lot has been happening…little of it good. In just the last couple days, three more officers have been murdered in California. It’s going to be a record-breaking year. Division has taken a firm hold in our society on many fronts. The one aimed at our police officers and sheriff’s deputies has reached absurd proportions that left reality far behind in its wake. Aside from hysterical activists, the real culprit here is the media that continues to stretch, trample, and ignore the truth in an ever-enthusiastic campaign to criticize law enforcement. There’s no excuse for it and I truly believe that history will not reflect kindly on the news networks of our age. Objectively, it’s a blatant, insatiable hate of those who struggle to hold the line on anarchy and chaos. You’ll have to pardon me if some of that anger I talked about is bleeding through these last words, but I believe accountability should not…cannot…be subtle. Not anymore.
Thanks to those at TheologyMix.com, I will continue to offer thoughts and prayers through Blue Lines…at least for the immediate future. The longevity of such endeavors always depends on their relevance to the readers. In that sense, it’s all very much up to you. Perhaps we can help each other find strength to endure, achieve some clarity and overcome the obstacles before us.
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
Michael P. Kelly is a retired police sergeant from the Huntington Beach Police Department in southern California, with 30+ years of law enforcement experience.He served in a variety of assignments in uniform, administration, and supervision.He developed expertise in training personnel with an emphasis in defensive tactics, officer survival, and critical incident management.He served several years in media and intergovernmental relations.At the time of his retirement, he was assigned to the department’s Professional Standards Unit (otherwise known as Internal Affairs). Two years before retirement, Mike was diagnosed with cancer.Thanks to the Lord's blessings and a team of good doctors, he survived the ordeal after major surgery and a battery of chemo and radiation treatments. Subsequent to retirement, he taught academy classes at the Golden West Community College Criminal Justice Training Center in Huntington Beach, CA, and worked for the California Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training as a course evaluator.Mike has done volunteer ministry work for his local Catholic parish, as a teacher of adult and school-age formation classes, and as a member of the Pastoral Council. He has also conducted public speaking presentations about his spiritual life as a police officer and cancer survivor. He authored a suspense novel entitled For Sake of the Son, which was published in 2013 and is well received by readers who have responded with five star reviews posted by online retailers.He is working on another project for future publication. Mike resides in southern California where he celebrates a successful family life as a husband, father of two successful sons, and grandfather to two rambunctious boys…all of whom he considers his greatest blessings.