SHIELD A BADGE
Shield a Badge with a Prayer
The “Shield a Badge with a Prayer” program is designed to show support to local Law Enforcement Officers through daily prayer. The Texas State Council is promoting this program as a “Community” Activity” and encourages your Council or Assembly to start a “Shield a Badge with a Prayer” program. The goal of “Shield a Badge” is to have every officer “adopted” and to have a daily prayer said for that officer’s Safety, Good Judgment, and a Safe Return Home. The commitment is for ONE year. A daily prayer is offered up for the safety of the assigned officer. The officer’s name and badge number is given to the prayer sponsor. There are NO promises beyond a prayer every day (no personal contact, no phone calls, and no gifts.) Communication with the officer is limited to a card or note several times a year letting them know you are praying for them. If an officer retires during the year, the prayer sponsor will be notified and a new officers name will be given. As new officers are hired, new prayer sponsors will be assigned.
Implementing the Program
- A liaison is needed from the Council/Assembly to contact the local Police / Sheriff Department. Ultimately, the program needs to be approved by the Chief of Police or Sheriff. The liaison will need to explain the program to the Chief and get the approval. Meeting with the Police Chaplin or the Community Officer may help or assist when presenting the program to the Chief. The Chief or Chaplin can then explain the program to the rest of the department so they are aware and have a better understanding of the program. It should be stressed to the Chief that only the officers name and badge number will be given to the prayer sponsor. Any communication with the officer will be limited to a card or note several times a year letting the officer know that the sponsor is praying for them and their safety. Seasonal cards are welcome; but only cards, NO GIFTS. And there should be NO attempt to make personal contact with the officer.
- Once the Chief approves the program, a list of officers will need to be obtained and the program coordinator from the council/assembly will begin assigning officers to a prayer sponsor. There are no limits to how many officers a prayer sponsor can have. Just like membership drives, a sign up drive can be done following all masses involving more than just council members.
- The coordinator will need to keep track of the prayer sponsors, which includes the name, address, email, and phone number. He will also need to track the prayer sponsor with the assigned officer to ensure that all officers are adopted out. If a prayer sponsor wishes to withdraw from the program another sponsor will be assigned to that officer. – See attached sheet.
- The coordinator will also need to periodically check with the police department for any officers who retire or leave the force. When that happens, the prayer sponsor will be notified and another officer assigned to that sponsor.
- When a prayer sponsor signs up, they will be given a “Prayer Card” with the officer’s name, ID, and mailing address of the police station (see example). The “Prayer Card” can be placed somewhere as a reminder to pray for that particular officer. The prayer sponsor will also be given some guidelines and what is expected of the prayer sponsor. In larger cities with larger police departments, the council can support the local substation or a specialized unit.
- There is no operational expense for the “Shield a Badge” program. The prayer sponsor is responsible for cost of mailing cards to the officer.
Other things to consider:
- There is power in prayer and there are no prescribed prayers for this program. Not sure how to pray or what prayer to use, don’t despair. Just talk with God respectfully and openly. Prayer is a conversation with God. When praying, do not worry about how the prayer is phrased. Pray for others whenever you think of them (at work, home, doing chores, in the car.) A prayer for a police officer can be as simple as “Dear Lord, please keep Officer _______ safe today.”
- One thing that frustrates officers is when a parent points to an officer and tells their child that if they continue to misbehave, the officer is going to take them to jail. Officers want children to know that they are someone the child can trust and someone that they can go to when they are scared, lost or needing help. Participating in the “Shield a Badge” program and getting the children to pray for an officers safety is a great way to build a strong bond with a police officer.
- Check out the original Shield a Badge website: www.shield-a-badge.org
- If you have any questions or need any help getting this started in your community, please call or email me: Pat Henz, firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-501-5197
“Those officers put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe; the least I could do is say a prayer for their safety” – Mrs. Houters -prayer sponsor
“I was the first officer on the scene of a person with a gun call. When I arrived, he put the gun down and no one was hurt. I knew my prayer sponsors prayers were answered” – Officer Moreno
“In a time when police are so often criticized, observing awful things or working long hours – just receiving a personal note made the day a little brighter!” – Officer Brock
“Knowing that someone would take the time to pray for me who dosen’t even know me, was very powerful” – Officer Minton