Why I Serve: Retired Sgt. Randy Brashears of Baltimore County, Md. Police Department
"I have been blessed to touch the lives of many people who would never darken the door of a church."
“Why I Serve” is an exclusive series from The Stream where law enforcement officers from all races and stripes and every corner of the nation sharing in their own words why they walk the Thin Blue Line. Hearing their voices today seems especially timely as all across the land organized (and paid) bands of protesters threaten the peace of our cities in the wake of the recent election, and police are increasingly targeted for ambush and acts of violence.
Our second stop is in Baltimore County, Maryland, where we get to meet retired Sgt. Randy Brashears.
Why did I become a police officer? The short answer is God called me to this profession at the age of 16 after having been a law enforcement Explorer Scout for one year. Even in college when we were encouraged to select a minor, I could not think of one. All I was interested in was criminal justice.
I have been blessed to touch the lives of many people who would never darken the door of a church.
My original plan was to become a federal agent. I took several federal law enforcement exams and each one said the results would be back in six to eight weeks. I waited eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks and no answer. I then prayed and asked God if federal service was His plan. Through a series of circumstances, His answer was no. He wanted me in local law enforcement. I said OK but I wanted to know where He wanted me to apply. I did not want to put in 10 applications and hope for the best. Again, he directed me — this time to the Baltimore County Police Dept.
I submitted my application, was hired and entered the academy. It was a very stressful experience and I recall at one-point thinking of walking out in the middle of a particular class and not coming back. But God gave me the grace to stick it out.
I graduated near the top of the class and began patrolling the East Side of Baltimore County. My duty station had about 100 police officers and I was not aware of any other Christians in that station. There were also very few African American officers in that station. It was a busy station and a great place to learn. Yes, there were some minor racial issues during that time but most of the officers respected me as the “Christian Officer” who was not afraid to arrest people if needed.
One of the early calls that stands out in my mind was the call for an attempted suicide. A young man named Mike was a paralyzed from an accident and bound to a wheelchair. He was also depressed and tried to kill himself. I responded and had him taken to the hospital for treatment. I documented the incident in my report.
About 6 months later when I was just about to get off from work, I was given a call to the same address for an attempted suicide. I along with another officer responded to the ground floor apartment. I looked into the window and observed blood on the wall. The front door was locked. I notified my Sgt. and requested permission for a forced entry. It was granted and we entered and found Mike on the floor. He was still alive. I called the medic and had him taken to the hospital. I documented the incident in my report. I did my job.
As the weeks went by I kept thinking of Mike. Will he be successful the next time? I decided to do something different. On my day off, I took my then-fiancé, to meet him at his apartment. There we were able to share the love of Jesus Christ with him. He prayed to receive Christ. The following weeks we picked him up, wheelchair and all, to take him to church with us. He met the pastor who spoke with him further.
This story is a reminder as to why God called me into the Ministry of Justice. I have been blessed to touch the lives of many people who would never darken the door of a church.
I have also been involved in the ministry to fellow officers through the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers USA. We had a local Chapter in Baltimore for 12 years. We had monthly meetings and a yearly retreat to Schroon Lake, NY. It was amazing to see what God was doing in the lives of His ministers of Justice.
Read about Cpl. James “Jimmy” Stone in the first installment in the “Why I Serve” series.