Author Archive

Sergeant Alfonso Lopez

Written by Ken. Posted in Memorial

Sergeant Alfonso Lopez

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department End of Watch: Thursday, October 24, 2016 assignment service Biographical Info Age: 47 Tour: 26 years Badge: # Incident Details Cause: Automobile accident Incident Date: 10/25/2016 Sergeant Al Lopez suffered a fatal heart attack while responding to assist other deputies who were involved in a high speed pursuit in Compton at approximately 5:20 am. Shortly after he responded from the station a citizen came into the lobby and advised deputies that a patrol car had crashed at the intersection of Myrrh Street and Willowbrook Avenue and the driver was unresponsive. Deputies responded to location and began performing CPR on on Sergeant Lopez. He was transported St. Francis Medical Center where he passed away. It is believed that Sergeant Lopez suffered a fatal heart attack prior to his vehicle colliding with a fence at low speeds. The pursuit he was responding to was terminated shortly after it began due to the dangerously high speeds of the fleeing vehicle. Sergeant Lopez had served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 26 years and was assigned to the Compton Station. He is survived by his wife and two adult children.

Officer Lesley Zerebny

Written by Ken. Posted in Memorial

Officer Lesley Zerebny

Palm Springs Police Department

End of Watch: Thursday, October 8, 2016

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Biographical Inf
Age: 27
Tour: 1 year, 6 months
Badge: # P524

Incident Details
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 10/8/2016
Weapon: Rifle; AR-15
Suspect: In custody

Police Officer Lesley Zerebny and Police Officer Gil Vega were shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the 2700 block of Cypress Road shortly after noon.

A family member from the home had gone to a neighbor’s house and and stated that his son was armed and wanted to shoot police officers. Responding officers, including Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny, arrived at the scene several minutes later. The man inside the home opened fire on them as they approached the front door, killing Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny and wounding a third officer.

The man then barricaded himself inside the home for approximately 12 hours. He was taken into custody by members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. The subject was an admitted gang member.

Officer Zerebny had served with the Palm Springs Police Department for 18 months. She was survived by her husband, who also serves in law enforcement, and 4-month-old child.

Officer Jose Gilbert ‘Gil’ Vega

Written by Ken. Posted in Memorial

Officer Jose ‘Gil’ Vega

Palm Springs Police Department

End of Watch: Saturday, October 8, 2016

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Biographical Info
Age: 62
Tour: 35 years
Badge: # P538

Incident Details
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 10/8/2016
Weapon: Rifle; AR-15
Suspect: Apprehended

Police Officer Gil Vega and Police Officer Lesley Zerebny were shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the 2700 block of Cypress Road shortly after noon.

A family member from the home had gone to a neighbor’s house and and stated that his son was armed and wanted to shoot police officers. Responding officers, including Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny, arrived at the scene several minutes later. The man inside the home opened fire on them as they approached the front door, killing Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny and wounding a third officer.

The man then barricaded himself inside the home for approximately 12 hours. He was taken into custody by members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. The subject was an admitted gang member.

Officer Vega had served with the Palm Springs Police Department for 35 years and was scheduled to retire only two months after his murder. He was working an overtime shift on the day he was murdered. He is survived by his wife and eight children.

Sergeant Steve Owen

Written by Ken. Posted in Memorial

Sergeant Steve Owen

Los Angeles County Sheriff Department

End of Watch: Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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Biographical Info
Age: 53
Tour: 29 years
Badge: #

Incident Details
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 10/5/2016
Weapon: Handgun
Suspect: Apprehended

Sergeant Steve Owen was shot and killed after responding to a burglary in progress call in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 in Lancaster, California.

He was checking the rear of the apartment building when the subject emerged and shot him. The other deputy on scene heard the shooting and ran to the rear of the building, where he found Sergeant Owen wounded. As he rendered aid the suspect attempted to steal Sergeant Owen’s patrol car, but but crashed into a second patrol car as the second deputy attempted to stop him.

The man then fled into a nearby home where he took two teenagers hostage for several hours. As a SWAT team entered the apartment the man fled but was quickly apprehended.

Sergeant Owen had served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 29 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Officer Jonathan ‘JD’ DeGuzman

Written by Ken. Posted in Memorial

Police Jonathan ‘JD’ DeGuzman

San Diego Police Department

End of Watch: Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Biographical Info
Age: 43
Tour: 15 years, 9 months
Badge: # 3836

Incident Details
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 7/28/2016
Weapon: Handgun
Suspect: Shot and wounded

Police Officer JD DeGuzman was shot and killed as he and his partner conducted a subject stop near the intersection of Acacia Grove Way and 38th Street at approximately 11:00 pm.

Officer DeGuzman and his partner observed two men walking in the area, but the men split up when they observed the patrol car. Officer DeGuzman’s partner exited the patrol car and approached one of the man. As he asked the man if he lived in the neighborhood the subject suddenly pulled out a handgun and opened fire without saying anything.

The subject shot Officer DeGuzman’s partner once in the neck before shooting Officer DeGuzman five times as he was still sitting in the police car. Officer DeGuzman’s partner was able to return fire and wounded the subject as he fled on foot. The man was found hiding in a nearby ravine a short time later and taken into custody. He was charged with murder, attempted murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.Officer DeGuzman had served with the San Diego Police Department for 16 years and was assigned to the Gang Suppression Unit. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Detective Jeremiah MacKay

Written by Ken. Posted in Memorial

Detective Jeremiah MacKay

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Biographical Information
Age: 35
Tour: 15 years
Badge # Not available

Incident Details
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 2/12/2013
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Committed suicide

Detective Jeremiah MacKay was shot and killed as he and other deputies attempted to apprehend the suspect wanted for murdering Police Officer Michael Crain, of the Riverside Police Department, and Public Safety Officer Keith Lawrence, of the University of Southern California Department of Public Safety.

After murdering Officer Crain, the subject fled to the Big Bear area of San Bernardino County, where he remained at large for several days. On February 12th, the subject broke into a cabin and tied the occupants up before stealing their truck. The victims were able to free themselves and called 911 to report the incident.

A short time later, game wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife spotted the truck near the intersection of Glass Road and Highway 38. After a vehicle-to-vehicle shootout, the subject fled into the woods and barricaded himself inside a cabin, which was immediately surrounded by law enforcement officers, as the SWAT team responded to the area. Hundreds of rounds were exchanged during a prolonged shootout, in which Detective MacKay and another deputy were both wounded. Both deputies were flown to Loma Linda University Hospital where Detective MacKay succumbed to his wounds.

Share The Giver

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Share The Giver

The ther night, I had the opportunity to visit a home up in what would be considered a very wealthy section of our community. This home was a beautiful, white, two-story structure, set high on a hill, overlooking the city of Riverside. Its large, U-shaped driveway took you right to the front porch, where it was impossible not to notice the towering double doors with stained glass windows leading into the home. The yard was perfectly manicured, causing one to gasp, while the panoramic view made you envious. So beautiful! So enticing!

I began thinking to myself, “These people have everything. They have it made. Wow! What a life. They are what America is all about. They are what Americans strive to be.” I began to wonder who these blessed people were who were living within the confines of this angelic structure.

As I entered the house, I was surprised at what I saw. I saw a large entry way with a lack of furniture. I saw a beautiful curved stairway with absolutely no pictures or portraits on the wall. I saw a 6′ wide x 25′ long empty hallway with nothing but doors leading to other rooms. I saw a master bedroom half the size of my entire home, with only a bed, a dresser, and a crucifix on the wall. I saw a master bathroom, with a tiled sunken tub the size of my spa. And, oh yes, I saw a 37 year old female, wife and mother, lying on the bathroom floor, after a failed attempt to kill herself. They weren’t as blessed as I had first thought.

The people in this house—from the outside looking in—appeared wealthy. But once on the inside, I quickly discovered what they really had. They had marital problems, arguments, fights, hurt, pain, sorrow, unhappiness, lack of joy. You name it! They ohad crisis, after crisis, after crisis. Suddenly I was hit with the stark reality of someone, who by all outside appearances, had it all, but inside, her life was filled with turmoil to the point of ending it.

Someone once said, “Wealth is not his who has it, but his who enjoys it.” I saw no joy in this household. These people of wealth were, in reality, very poor. They had a house, but not a home. They had a bed, but not a good night’s sleep. They had a cross on the wall, but not a Savior. The possessions they had they did not own, but instead, their possessions owned them—to the point of self-destruction. These people thought their possessions would bring them happiness. They didn’t! These people thought the gifts of the world would bring them joy. They didn’t! They had the gifts of the world, but not the Giver who created the world.

My point is this: These people in my story are real and they are everywhere. They may be your co-worker, your neighbor, or even a family member. No matter who they are, they need to hear about the Giver. Let us never forget these people. This Christmas season let us share the gift of God’s love to these people every opportunity we have.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”
—1 Timothy 6:17—

Merry Christmas,

Chaplain Steve

Team Work

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Team Work

“We work together as partners who belong to God”
-1 Corinthians 3:9-

Recently, I read a story of two men riding on a tandem bicycle, panting and perspiring, as they finally reached the top of a steep hill. “That was a stiff climb,” said the first man. “It certainly was,” replied the second. “And if I hadn’t kept the brake on, we would have slid back down the hill.” I don’t think their efforts would fit even the loosest of definitions for teamwork.

The word teamwork has been defined as; “a cooperative effort by the members of a group or team to achieve a common goal.” First, this definition tells us that each member in a team has their own unique role to play in order to accomplish the team’s common goal. Second, in order for teamwork to exist, each team member must willingly submit to the unifying goal and work together in harmony with their other team members. To do anything less is not teamwork.

I can recall one evening when my wife and I were at a community park watching a basketball game and observing a pretty good picture of teamwork. A few of our local police officers (not the youngest bunch) took on some of the local youth from our community in a “Cops vs. Kids” basketball game.

Our guys ran up and down the court together, they passed the ball around, they set up, they rebounded, and they took their shots; some very good shots I might add. They clearly worked together as a team that night, as they ran up and down the court.

But teamwork isn’t to just take place on the basketball court. It’s to take place in a black and white, in a fire engine, and in the dispatch center. It’s to take place everywhere in your life, from your department to your home.

Though there will always be those who do not want to work as a team, don’t allow them to distract you from always doing your part. Being a good role model goes a long way in helping others to get on the team. And more importantly, remember that what we do is always to be done as unto the Lord. He is our team leader and He’s the one we truly work for.

Final Score: Kids 37 … Cop’s 36 ……….. Teamwork.

“Wait a minute Chaplain! They didn’t achieve a common goal. They didn’t win! How can you call that teamwork?” Because no one had their brake on.

For the people had a mind to work”
-Nehemiah 4:6-

Be safe as you work together,

Chaplain Steve

Happiness Is In The Lord

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Happiness Is In The Lord

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he”
-Proverbs 16:20-

I hope that you and your family had a safe and Merry Christmas.

In just a few days the calendar will once again change to a brand new year. We will be leaving the year 2005 and entering 2006. People all around the world are planning their New Year’s Eve parties. Family, friends and business associates will come together, uncork their champagne, offer a toast, and at the stroke of midnight, wish each other a Happy New Year! They excitedly look forward to a new year, hoping many of their dreams will come true, in order that they might experience happiness.

What is happiness? Happiness has been defined as; a state of well-being, satisfaction and contentment. For different people, it takes different things to make them happy. For some people it might take finances. For others, it takes a certain hobby, a new computer, new car, new home, or new job. Still for others, it takes a new relationship.

There’s no question that these things can make a person happy. However, the reality is this: none of these things can keep us happy. After a while, these things begin to wear out and get old, and then it’s time to find something better and newer that will make us happy.

Perhaps for many of you, the year 2005 has been a very good year. You’ve received a promotion, a pay raise, a new home, or have gotten married. Perhaps you were finally able to take that vacation you’ve always wanted. Right now, you’re happy, and that’s wonderful, and I’m happy for you. But, what if these things had not occurred? What if you had not received that promotion, or pay raise, or new home? What if you had not gotten married, or were able to take that vacation? Would you still be happy, or would you be disappointed, discontented, dissatisfied—unhappy!

Here’s my point: If you’re looking for true happiness; a happiness that will never leave you; a happiness that will never disappoint you; a happiness that is not dependent on happenings; a happiness that will stay with you for all eternity, the Bible tells us how.

“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord”
-Psalm 144:15-

I pray that 2006 will be the Happiest Year of your life, at home and at work, as you enter in to a deeper relationship with the God who loves you.

Happy New Year,

Chaplain Steve

He Has The Keys

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

He Has The Keys

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved . . .”
-John 10:9-

Reaching deep into my pants pocket to retrieve my house key, I felt a whole lot of nothing. “Oh no! Where is my key? What did I do with my key?” Anxiety and worry immediately rose up inside me, as I frantically searched my pockets over and over again. (Why do we do that? Why do we search the same place over and over again? I mean if the keys weren’t there the first time, they won’t be there two minutes later. I guess we hope that some way, some how, they’ll magically reappear.) Anyway, for the life of me, I could not find my key anywhere. “This is not good! I really need my key!”

It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I took for granted this small metal devise; this inch and a half, notched instrument that I always kept in my front, right pocket (until now). I quickly became aware of just how vital my key was to me. I became cognizant of how important it was to have the right key for the right door. I had my car key on me, but it would only open the door to my car, not my house. Until I found—not just any key, but the right key, I would not be able to enter my house, I would remain locked out. My only answer was to call a locksmith to come and unlock my door for me. He would be the one to save the day. But, before he would come, I first had to be willing to call him.

The same is true in the spiritual sense. We need to have the right key, in order to enter into heaven. Without it, we’re locked out. Here’s the BAD NEWS: I don’t have that key and neither do you. Here’s the GOOD NEWS: I know the Locksmith who does.

Soon we are going to be celebrating Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus Christ resurrected from the grave. He died on Friday, as He tasted the full bitterness of death. However, death was not able to hold Him. On the third day, the stone was rolled away and His grave was found to be empty, “He is not here, for He has risen” (Matthew 28:6). By His resurrection, He conquered the enemy of death and He opened the door to life. That is why He is able to say to you and me, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. AND I HAVE THE KEYS of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18).

Remember, Jesus was dead, but today He lives. He wouldn’t be holding the keys to death and life, had it not been for His own death and resurrection. Because He conquered death, death has no hold over us. Jesus is the Locksmith and has come to save the day.

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”
-Romans 10:13-

Blessings

Chaplain Steve