Last week, LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Isaac (Redeemer Lutheran - Spokane Valley, Washington) and his law enforcement handler Bill attended a regional 1st Responder Conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The conference travels throughout the United States, providing education, mental health awareness, and resources to all first responders, their spouses, and those who work/volunteer in a supporting role in the first responder's community.
Guest speakers provided a wealth of information regarding health, setting up wellness programs, and providing resources that are readily available in this area. How damaging long-term trauma is to our bodies, and how we can slow down the effects. Some shared personal stories of their own journeys and how they tried to manage their lives by themselves, trying to survive the mental roller coaster they were on. None were able to manage without getting outside help.
During both days of the conference, several people visited K-9 Isaac at our booth. Isaac put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces. It was clear Isaac brought joy and comfort to those attending this conference.
Some were willing to share their stories with Isaac's handler Bill after learning he was a retired police officer. Isaac's presence allowed us to begin those conversations. Several people come back multiple times to get more love and comfort from Isaac and talk to Bill.
Bill connected with other outlying agencies, letting them know about the LCC K-9 Police Ministry and sharing about LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion ministry. Several police chaplains were also in attendance, and the team was able to connect with them as well.
Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9
The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department and community gathered on June 21, 2022, for the funeral of Sheriff Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard who was tragically killed in the line of duty on June 12. Sheriff Deputy First Class Hilliard, who would have turned 42 years old on Wednesday, had a wife and three children. He was a 16-year veteran law enforcement officer.
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Kezia (Emmanuel - Baltimore, Maryland) and her law enforcmenet handler Patrick, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Amos (Our Savior's Way - Ashburn, Virginia), and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Solomon (King of Glory - Williamsburg, Virginia) and their handlers, shared God’s love and comfort with law enforcement, their families and other first responders at the funeral for Sheriff Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited by Project Thank A Cop.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams were honored to be present this day as they saw thousands of people all working together to create an amazing hero's send off for Officer Hilliard's family and friends. As one of the handlers reflected on this experience, she noticed the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers were approached by officers, friends and family who had smiles on their faces. It felt like their time with the dogs afforded them a moment of joy and peace and allowed them to forget for a moment the unjustness of why they were all gathered that day. God was there- making every one of one mind, one body, laboring for His child and that child's loved ones, so that they would know- everyone there would know- that He loves us more deeply than we can comprehend.
Patrick, an LCC K-9 Police Ministry Handler and former officer reflected, how Kezia, Amos and Solomon Comfort Dogs were a small but significant part of a bigger hedge of protection and compassion that officers, firemen, EMT and community volunteers showed Deputy Hiliard’s family. What struck him the most, was one officer who never touched the dogs but was walking past the Comfort Dogs and without losing stride looked down at the dogs and said, ‘Thank you for being here.’
Patrick saw how the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers' presence meant so much to him. Grief-stricken police wives and children loved on the dogs that helped all of them get through the day. The Comfort Dog team had prayed at the beginning of the day that God would let the light of Jesus shine through the eyes of those dogs and handlers, and He clearly made that happen.
A Heart of Mercy and Compassion was given for law enforcement, family and friends to share messages of love, hope and prayer.
Please pray for the heartbroken police officers and their families as they say continue to grieve Sheriff Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard loss.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Isaac (Redeemer - Spokane Valley, Washington) with retired police officer and current police ministry handler William, and other members of the Redeemer, Spokane, Ministry team were present at the 34th Annual Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Ceremony and the candlelight vigil that honored officers and K9s who had lost their lives in the last year while serving.
An engraved memorial with the names of all Washington state officers who have died in the line of duty is located in Spokane, Washington. It was a beautiful and moving event to see the community come together to show their respect for these fallen officers and their families.
Police Ministry Dog Isaac was a comforting and loving presence for the family members of some of the fallen officers honored that day. A woman who attended the memorial service shared how she saw Isaac and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog team interacting with the officers and families before the service and how Isaac’s presence brought such calmness to her on that day. During the ceremony, when they read the fallen officers’ names and their families spoke, she would look for Isaac. Once she saw him, it gave her comfort. At the end of the ceremony, she was able to spend some time with Isaac. She was grateful to have that moment with him and his gentle presence.
Isaac also spent time with many local officers who have bonded with him through their relationship with retired police officer and LCC K-9 Police Ministry handler William.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” Matthew 5:9