By Ricky Price, ALBugle.com
It’s been about 12- 15 years ago, since I heard of a “Church Police Department.”
A case that we had at The Morris Haynes Law Firm made me familiar with the concept.
Todd Wheeles, an Attorney at the Birmingham Office of the Firm was going over the details of a case we had that I needed to do some work on. Todd, being a former Alabama State Trooper, ABI Agent and now lawyer not only specialized in automobile accidents; he had gained a specialty in Legionnaires Disease cases and accidental firearm discharge cases. As a matter of fact, he does them all over the Country.
In this particular case, a lady who lived out West, I am thinking it was Wyoming, had on a body wrap holster and as she took it off, the Charter Semi-automatic pistol fell out of the holster, hit the ground and discharged. Thank God she was not killed, but she is scared for life as the bullet traveled up her torso leaving a gaping wound.
Well, my first question to Todd, was, was she trained on the safety mechanism of the weapon and on how to properly use it?
He said she was a “Police Officer” at a church where she lived. She was a member of about a 20 person police staff. I had never heard of such. Todd explained the church had a membership of over 12,000 people and they felt the need for the force. Again, this was 12-15 years ago. He explained she was deputized by the County Sheriff and had to have weapon qualification every 3-6 months, as a regular Deputy would have to do. Her husband was also a member of the Church Police.
I thought this concept was odd, but like I said this was 12-15 years ago.
With the incident this week in Texas, this concept was well ahead of its time and I am sure the concept saved a lot of lives this week.
The best I remember, after the case was over, the victim got her another make and model of weapon and she still worships in her church hoping nothing happens, but she along with her partners on the Church Police Department are ready if it does.