Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When the Sheepdog kills the Sheep

Tyler Peterson the Sheriff's deputy who killed six and then himself in a rampage. This poses a question, what do you do when a Sheepdog kills his sheep? Tyler was a sworn officer that had promised to protect the innocent and by most accounts had performed that act adequately and now seven lives have been taken by his hand.

An officer that joins a police department must be ready, willing and able to take anothers or his own life should the circumstances call for it. The officer is provided with a multitude of devices whose sole purpose is to take anothers life away from him/her. That officer is trained on the proper methods and tactics to best take that life with the least amount of collateral damage. Then the officer is sent into the field and required to evaluate each and every incident to see if this ultimate course of action is necessary.

The unique and disturbing element of Tyler's actions is not that he killed or the method he used to take those seven lives but rather the circumstances of the incident in which the lives were taken. Tyler would be a hero if these lives belonged to terrorists or cult members in the midst of committing a terrorist act. Rather he is a monster because these six people were engaged in a party.

You can not ask the sheep to guard themselves because they quickly would fall pray to the predators. Nor can you make the sheepdog fang-less because then he/she would have nothing in which to guard the sheep. So the best you can hope for is to screen for the best sheepdogs and watch him/her to see if they grow rabid. We missed this rabid sheepdog and as a consequence some sheep died.

In the end the best that we can do is to remember all the sheepdogs that go about their business with honor and compassion when guarding the sheep and removing the predators. We must trust that the Shepperd knows the best way and will lead us from the fields to our pen.

Psalm 43:3
Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

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