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C.O.P.
By Lucian Thompson

"Dispatcher, this is 509, I need rescue, stat. I can’t stop the bleeding."

10-4, 509, rescue’s ETA is five minutes.

It was too late; the young girl lying in the mud with a severed carotid artery bled out in my arms. I felt the life leave her body and a chill enveloped my soul. I couldn’t make a difference, though I did all I could. She was dead in my arms and her blood was all over me.

I took off my uniform jacket and lay it gently over her face and body to shield her from the gawking eyes of the people that were gathering on the side of the road. As I stood and walked toward my patrol car, some bystanders shrieked in horror; the blood on my face and hands had begun to mix with the lightly falling rain, and I appeared as if I had been a victim of a butcher’s madness. Her blood flowed from me as my own. I could taste her death.

"509 to Dispatcher, I…I wasn’t able to save her. She is gone … in my arms … she is gone."

10-4, 509, you did your best. Rescue will be there any minute.

I put the mike down on the front seat and placed both hands on the hood of my patrol car and cried the tears of a cop who has seen too many tragedies, too many wasted lives, too many families who would not be able to understand the senseless loss of a loved one due to speed or careless driving.

After 40 years, I still remember her name. Carolyn was 17 and she died a horrible death while driving the new car she had just received as a graduation present from her parents. She was so proud of her new wheels and wanted to show it off to her friends. As she approached an intersection with a 4-way stop sign, she stomped the accelerator instead of the brake and launched into the side of a car that had just entered the intersection. She didn’t have her seat belt on and was catapulted out of the front windshield, tumbling over the car she hit and into a shallow ditch. She was cut all over her head and upper torso and her carotid artery was cut. I arrived within 2 minutes of the call, but was too late to make a difference.

From time to time I relive this event, and I think about my own life and how reckless and careless I have been in the past. I see myself with blood all over me, lying in the gutters of life, with many bystanders looking on in horror at how I appeared to them.

My life had been out of control and I was destined to be a dead man till someone came to my aid in the nick of time. He let His blood flow all over me and raised me from the penalty of death unto eternal life with Him. Jesus took my bloody hands and face and cleansed them with His blood. The bystanders now appeared as the whole angelic host of Heaven and cheered for me, who was lost, but now found.

The butcher that would have destroyed me was now under subjection at the name of Jesus. My name will not be forgotten either, as it is written down in the Book of Life.

I still shed tears for those who are the victims of senseless tragedies.

Long ago, I left the police force to trade being one public servant for that of another type of public servant … Pastor. My badge doesn’t say "Police" any more; it now says, "COP"--Christ Or Perish.
Lucian Thompson is the Associate Pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship in Virginia Beach, Virginia (www.trinitychristianfellowship.net). His expertise is in the area of Eschatology and he is an avid writer of Bible Study and devotional materials for his church. A former Chief of Police who uses his life experiences to counsel others in the pitfalls of life. You may contact Lucian through the Letters Page of this magazine.