14 Sept 1992 Cops for Christ

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14 Sept 1992 Cops for Christ - Some cops are turning to religion COPSfrom ID...
Some cops are turning to religion COPSfrom ID what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment" (Romans 13:1-2). 13:1-2). 13:1-2). ; Mike DiSanza, a retired New York City police officer and president president of the 19 Cops for Christ Chapters in Florida, said the problem problem of how to handle evangelization evangelization often comes up in discussions with members. ; "I tell the officers to get a feeling from people whether they are open to the Lord," said DiS-dnza, DiS-dnza, DiS-dnza, who lives in Inverness. "I never worry what the establishment establishment says. It's up to the individual 6fficer." r- r- At Palm Beach County Cops for Christ's first meeting in April, about 70 people attended. As many as 100 have attended recent meetings, meetings, members say. j Palm Beach County Sheriff's Capt. Anthony O'Brien said the officers officers are not permitted to talk about religion to the public when they are in uniform. The Canons of Law Enforcement Ethics police code says: "Officers will give service where they can and require compliance compliance with the law. They will do so neither from personal preference or prejudice, but rather as duly appointed officers of law discharging discharging a sworn obligation." "Religion can be taken as a serious prejudice," O'Brien said. "If this continues, they could be suspended." ! Cops for Christ is not the first religious organization for law enforcement enforcement officers. The Shomrim Society serves Jewish officers and the Catholic Law Enforcement Guild helps Catholic officers. But these fraternal organizations don't proselytize; they raise money for Community projects and support fellow officers. ! Cops for Christ also wants to support the law-enforcement law-enforcement law-enforcement community. community. But sharing their Christian experience is a key element of that support. "We want to spread the gospel throughout the police community," Lobdell said. "We want to get as many people saved as possible." -i -i Fellow officers have com- com- D C.J. WALKERStaff Photographer Detective Frank Baker (left), radio technician Mike Lamont and Deputy Steve Lobdell are all members members of Cops for Christ. 'I tell the officers to get a feeling from people whether they are open to the Lord. I never worry what the establishment says.' MIKE DiSANZA plained about Lobdell's Jesus-talk, Jesus-talk, Jesus-talk, and his supervisor has told him to save his sermons for after work. "Anytime Jesus is mentioned in the workplace, you're going to offend offend people," said Mike Lamont, 27, a radio repairman in the Sheriff's Sheriff's Department and a Cops for Christ member. "A lot of officers are afraid to show their Christianity Christianity openly because they're afraid they'll lose their aggressiveness." Palm Beach County Sheriff's Detective Detective Frank Baker, a Cops for Christ member, knows the police code prohibits witnessing to the public. He said he waits for an invitation from the people he meets before talking about his faith. "I don't do it to guys I work C i -.-" -.-" -.-" -.-" I."-. I."-. I."-. t 7 ? I va : II with, and I don't bring it up unless I see the situation is OK," said Baker, Baker, 32. "A couple of people have said to me, 'You look like you're at peace.' Then I share my testimony." testimony." John Gigliotti, a Broward County County Sheriff's deputy who lives in Delray Beach and serves on the executive board of Palm Beach County Cops for Christ, said he witnesses to both fellow officers and the public. When Gigliotti, 45, is called to a home on his deputy rounds, he often leaves a pamphlet called "A Sinner's Sinner's Prayer To Receive Jesus As Savior," which asks God for forgiveness. forgiveness. He still keeps in touch with some of the families he has n helped convert on these calls. "I've brought a couple of people I've arrested to the Lord," said Gigliotti, whose wife, Tina, is a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and a Cops for Christ member. "I answer to a higher authority." These officers often encounter personal conflicts when they answer answer calls related to homosexuality homosexuality or abortion protests. They said they view homosexuality as a sin, but they try not to treat homosexuals homosexuals differently from anyone else. At abortion protests, they also try to uphold the law. "Although I'm against abortion, I don't agree with a lot of the actions of anti-abortion anti-abortion anti-abortion groups," Gigliotti said. "It's a very hard position to be in as a Christian." The officers say they love their jobs, but they love God more. They say they have become accustomed to the conflict. ' "The Lord said people are going to come against us," Lobdell said. "I pray for them and try to show them the love of Christ." lif TifflllillMtiiiMllMUilBI II i ilTii 'iiili'm i

Clipped from The Palm Beach Post14 Sep 1992, MonPage 52

The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Florida)14 Sep 1992, MonPage 52
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