With around 100,000 person population and only 130+ officers, captain Dan Gill has his hands full keeping the peace in Beaverton, Oregon. He is a veteran officer with 21 years in the Beaverton PD and currently manages the training and new officer hiring. He has seen it all but is increasingly worried about the effects the job has on his officers and the toll it takes on their personal lives and family.
One of his best resources of support for his team is his Chaplain; Paul Olds. Paul has been around the block as well but God is using him mightly within the walls of the Beaverton PD. Private conversations and moments with line officers seeking some advice and prayer is the easy stuff for Paul. Jumping out of a squad car on a routine ride-a-along to help an officer being attacked by a “perp” was not what he was expecting that day but he did it anyway. As he says; “these are my guys and I know they would have my back in the same situation so what else was i going to do!”
Paul’s hands are full most days, getting his guys to move on and not get emotionally involved in the job that exposes them to the worst of humanity at times. Dan mentioned that he used to have less then 10 officers working sex crimes but now has over 50% of his staff dealing with it at some point in their job. More then ever he is looking for ways to support them and their spouses so that their personal life away from the job is as normal as possible.
The guys utilize any and all resources available including the B&H Officers bible, Courageous movie and books from various Christian authors like Randy Alcorn and Lee Strobel. It’s having a positive effect as he has a group of officers that have taken the same challenge from the movie and started an accountability group and are looking to publicaly declare their allegiance to their families, spouses and their Lord.
Our time ended with both men sharing stories and talking about the Carrie Underwood song; Jesus take the wheel. As you can imagine the lyrics mean alot to both men and left both of them wiping away a tear.
Ya, I would say that Beaverton’s in good hands these days, can’t wait for my next visit with captain Dan Gill and Paul.