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Law Enforcement Today | July 24, 2016

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Courage and Monsters

kenneth wise

I watched a movie the other day with my son called Courageous.  All law enforcement officers should see this movie.  Courageous depicts a group of officers who, at various stages, have to deal with their own ”monsters” in both their personal and professional lives.

One officer had no time for his son and very little time for his daughter until he was faced with tragedy in his life.  He had to deal with the monster we will call “guilt”. Guilt because he felt he should have been able to spend time with his family.  Like so many people in law enforcement, he tried to be everyone’s Superman.  That is, Superman to everyone but to the ones where it matters the most!

Another officer dealt with his monster of being brought up without knowing his father. He was a good cop, but he still had to come to terms with the fact that he didn’t even know his father until after he was dead and buried. I call this monster “grew up without love” Fortunately; he did have someone positive in his life to set his course in the right path.  Many of us can be that positive person to a fatherless child.

Another officer had a child out of wedlock.  He didn’t want to have  a relationship with this kid.   He met a cheerleader when he was in college and the rest you might say is history.  I have named his monster “not accepting responsibility.” Sure, he’s a good officer, but when out of uniform he wasn’t very competent. His personal life was out of balance.  He needed to get it back on track fast.

The last officer is one we all have to deal with at one time or another. We all know someone who has dealt with this officer’s monster.  This officer is the one who takes evidence such as drugs and instead of checking it into the evidence room he takes a few bags to either sell them or worse to take them. This monster I will call “Temptation.”  The monster Temptation can turn even the best officer into a cheat, thief, drug dealer, drug addict or even a murderer. This monster finally consumed the officer to the point of no return.

Now when we deal with monsters, and we all do in one form or another, let’s not forget the people we have in our lives. Don’t forget that there is a life outside the badge and it’s good to seek it. If you need spiritual help, I implore you to find someone of the faith be it a pastor or police chaplain. Find someone who can tend to your spiritual needs without judging you.  if you are facing the monster Temptation, seek help before it consumes you.

Spend time with your family!  The bad guys and evil stuff will still be there when you get back on duty, but you only get one chance to be a husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter…you can fill in the blanks.

It doesn’t take courage to be prideful but it takes courage to know when we need help. Come out from behind the badge and be like the movie title says.  It takes courage to fight a monster…Be courageous!

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  1. Excellent movie and premise. We may only get one chance to do it right, or to do it at all. Don’t take those most precious for granted.

    We all give of ourselves in the line of duty. Just make sure not to give it all at work, day to day duties do not require emergency dumps. Save some of you for your family, they need it more than you think, and so do you.


  2. We have been involved with/supporting/promoting Courageous since its inception. Bottom line is that it is a “must see” for every officer. Embrace the message.
    Det. Sgt. and Chaplain M.C. Williams
    VP, Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (

  3. Kenneth,
    Alex Kendricks of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany Georgia has made several films dealing with this subject now. Danger and Fear are words often associated with the word courageous. It takes courage to respond to a threatening situation. Courage is not the abscence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. Joshua 1: 1-9 might be some scripture one might consider. As men and women of FAITH, the COMMITMENT of the people GOD entrusts to us will only be as strong as our own.
    Next go and see Fireproof, another of Pastor kendricks fine films.

  4. And ohhh yeah! Cops, firefighters, and paramedics experience so many things that are so far above the norm in those careers. There is not much being done in those fields to help those who serve understand and find meaning in their lives considering all of the terrible things they witness on their jobs. Psychological counseling for those in crisis is available to a few at some “enlightend” agencies that want their employees to be fit again for duty. A lot of agencies don’t. Those in the profession have a higher divorce, alcoholism, and suicide rate. Their relationships with others also suffer. Find someone in the field to help you deal with those issues. Consider something other than non traditional secular counseling. Find a Christian Clinical Counselor, and let them help you again find your way. Thats what I do in my next career after 26 years in law enforcement. From Patrol to the Homicide Division, I have seen pretty much all. I do counsel those via the web. I am at and at BE Blessed!

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