Dallas Police Officer: ‘This Blessing Couldn’t Have Come at a Better Time’

By   •   July 13, 2016

Leo Grabowski, chaplain coordinator with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, prays with Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell. Chaplains delivered a box of Bibles to the department on Tuesday for the families of the five officers killed and those hospitalized by the tragic shooting. "God's timing is always perfect," Grabowski said, after explaining that he was able to connect with Sgt. Mitchell directly only after bumping into a former Dallas police officer during Monday's candlelight vigil.

Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deployed to Dallas within hours of the July 7 shooting that claimed the lives of five police officers. Chaplains are also ministering in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after the shooting death of Alton Sterling and the civil unrest that followed. Please continue to keep these communities and the entire nation in your prayers.

Standing in the lobby of the Dallas Police Department, Sgt. Warren Mitchell was happy to share his story.

He always dreamed of being “big-city police” in Dallas as a boy growing up in nearby Bossier City, Louisiana. He even remembers passing handwritten notes about it with a friend in high school. For him, it was the perfect fit. The Dallas Cowboys were his team; the northern Texas metropolis was a short three-hour drive from home; and there was something that he just loved about that Dallas police badge.

So he applied. He showed up to the interview in 1987 sporting a Miami Vice style coat, pink shirt and long locks. Immediately, he learned “police work is not what you see on TV” and was turned away. The heartbroken 21-year-old was told he would have to wait a year to reapply.

Why did God let this happen to him? Mitchell couldn’t understand and he opened the next 365 days exploring that question while applying to other police departments. He started going back to church like he was raised to do. Over time, Mitchell discovered that believing in God and having a connection with Him wasn’t enough. He needed to as his Lord and Savior.

“I got saved, baptized and it seemed like my whole life changed around,” Mitchell said. “By that time, after being rejected at so many different departments, a year went by and I came back to Dallas. I tested, and it’s been going up ever since.

“I really think God wanted to cover me before allowing me to have this position on the police department,” he added, glancing over at the floral arrangements near him in the lobby. The flowers were gifted to the department in memory of the five officers who died in the tragic shooting. Mitchell had worked with two of the officers at some point during his 28-year career.

That day, Thursday, July 7, was a hard day. Maybe the hardest of his career. And looking back, he is thankful he had that year in 1987 to shake off his Miami Vice immaturity and truly connect with God.

Faith has been the driving force for Mitchell, who hasn’t had a complaint filed against him since he first started wearing the badge he loves so. It has guided his personal conduct and it also has helped carry him through everything from seeing a dead body for the first time to the recent tragic event in downtown Dallas.

“You know, some things are just unimaginable, and I can’t see now how I would have survived without praying and knowing , and reading and learning the teachings of Jesus Christ because I use it every day,” said Mitchell, who also credited his church for its ongoing support and prayer. Last Sunday, he said, the pastor called him up to the front for prayer.

That support from his church and from the community has been invaluable to Mitchell. On Tuesday, he received another boost when he greeted Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains to accept Bibles for the families of the fallen officers and those hospitalized by the shooting.

Chaplain Leo Grabowski asked Mitchell to present the Bibles to the families as well as the wounded officers “to let them know how much they’re loved and appreciated.”

Mitchell was honored by the gift and further touched when Grabowski presented Mitchell with his own personal copy. This Bible, Mitchell said, will go in his office where he can draw inspiration from it daily.

“This will definitely help me in my spiritual growth, not only for myself but for my unit,” Mitchell said. “This blessing couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Are you a law enforcement officer or know someone who is? Learn more about the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team’s 3rd annual National Law Enforcement Retreat in October.

Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team presented copies of The Billy Graham Training Center Bible to the Dallas Police Department.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Rick Bergener says:

    Thank you for your sacrifice when you leave your families to serve daily. You are in our prayers. In my prayer time daily, I pray for our law enforcement that are out there putting their life on the line. God Bless RRT Team. Thank you for what you do.

  2. jim ,sandi butler says:

    I pray for all of our police officers, and pray for their families as they leave each day not knowing if they are coming home .. God bless you and yours.

  3. Tommy Belisario says:

    The RRT chaplains are a blessing from God as they serve so many whose lives are shattered. God bless you Leo and the rest of the team.

  4. Ronald Mullins says:

    Sounds great. Too often we see only the bad stuff on TV or news and it is always great to find out that there really a tremendous number of good people. If we all can keep working very hard this nation can be returned to God again the way it was.

  5. Dave says:

    Blue lives matter.

  6. Brian B Nelsen says:

    I love your work in Christ!!!

  7. Tammy Turnmire says:

    God is awesome. The light comes in the darkness. Be still and know that I am God! Comes to mind. Thank you so much for being his hands and feet. Praying for each of you!

  8. King B. Johnson says:

    This is amazing especially when you meet one of the chaplains!-) #BelieveIt #Light

  9. Colleen Wilson says:

    Our police in South Africa see and experience horrific things almost daily. Our Pastor goes and prays for our detectives weekly and our church has started to get involved with the police station in our area. We need to make a difference in people’s lives, seeing this post has so touched my heart. Thank you for touching lives

  10. Austin Mfune says:

    So encouraging. Last year i had a dream, where i saw alot of Police officers dying of HIV and Aids, and was told that this is so just because many ministers of the Gospel fail to reach out to these officers. I was told that i’ve been appointed to reach out to them just because i once worked for the Malawi Police service. Please help me in prayers to be able to accomplish this task. Amen.