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True Police Stories

"Courage is the ability to move; when all around you are frozen in fear
and no one would blame you if you did nothing at all." Capt. Click. Phx. PD

My Name is Allen Reed

Taken from the book Think About it...  for your reading convenience

My dear brothers and sisters. I desire to give to you my testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To do so, I wish to express to you my feelings on being an, “LDS Cop!” In my current profession as a police officer, I have been blessed with the opportunity to view the world as no one else sees it. Yes, police officers, like soldiers in a war, many times see the worst that this world has to offer. Therefore, in a way, I feel that we are special witnesses. I feel that it is our responsibility to impart to others what we see and learn on the street about the “spiritual warfare” that we are all engaged in.

In the fifteen years that I have been an officer with the Tempe Police Department, my testimony has been strengthened and added to. I have seen with my own eyes, that the war that began in the pre-existence, continues here on this earth. Satan surely does seek to destroy us. The Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley has said of this war:

“That war, so bitter, so intense, has gone on, and it has never ceased. It is a war
between the truth and error, between agency and compulsion, between the followers of
Christ and those who have denied Him. His enemies have used every stratagem in that
conflict. They’ve indulged in lying and deceit. They’ve employed money and wealth. They’ve
tricked the minds of men. They’ve murdered and destroyed and engaged in every unholy and
impure practice to thwart the work of Christ.” (Ensign, November, 1986, P.42)

Is not what we see everyday as police officers, this terrible war that is being waged by our unseen adversary? We know that Satan sought to take from us our agency. Has he not accomplished this objective when we observe the victim of a drug overdose? Or the alcoholic who is arrested for his third DUI? Or the child molester who destroys the self esteem of a young child? And how many souls are adversely affected in the murder of a loved one?

I am now nearing my sixth year in Homicide. I have seen more violence and death than one can
imagine. However, I have grown to be proud of the work that I do. I feel like my job is a calling and in a way, I am doing, “Work for the Dead.” I have always tried to show compassion for the family of the victim and many times, I offer words of comfort. Many more times, I have said silent prayers in their behalf. In many of the cases that I work, one truly sees that the war Satan wages is a bloody one. Over the years, I have examined and inspected hundreds of dead bodies. It never ceases to amaze me how empty the eyes of a dead person appear. It’s a look that Hollywood cannot duplicate. Once you see it, you never forget it. Someone once said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I believe this to be the truth, for as you gaze into the eyes of a lifeless body, you realize that the spirit has left. That spirit, that essence that really was this person gone.

       Every time that I see a dead person, I am reminded of my own mortality.
                 I realize that someday, my spirit will separate from my body
                           and I will go the way of the many persons that I knew only in death.

All my life, I have been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ by loving parents, inspired teachers and beloved friends. I have a deep understanding of the plan of salvation. I know where I came from, why I’m here and where I’m going. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Son of the Almighty God. It is His example of rising from the dead that I look to every time that I am confronted with death in my profession. The Prophet Harold B. Lee said, “Death of a loved one is the most severe test that you will ever face, and if you can rise above your grief and if you will trust in God, then you will be able to surmount any other difficulty with which you may be faced.” (Ye Are The Light Of The World, 1974, P.257)

The hardest thing for me to do in a death investigation is to notify and explain to a family member what has happened to a loved one of theirs. I have done death notifications at all times of the day and night. I once even had to do a death notification to the parents of a suicide victim on Christmas Eve.

The pain and grief that I witness tears at my heart.                       
I see so many people who do not have a clue about what lies beyond death’s door.
For many, death is an end to existence. Their grief is magnified
                        by a false belief that they will never see their loved one again.

Oh, how many times I have wanted to bear testimony that because of Christ, we will continue to live after death and have eternal life. On some occasions, I have given words of comfort to a grieving next of kin and promised them that they would again someday see their departed loved one. So far, no one has complained about me saying this to them.

Recently, I had the task of investigating a death which most cops would agree is the worst type of death to encounter. The death of a small child. Of this occasion, I was called to the emergency room of a hospital to examine and investigate the death of an infant. The young parents were so overcome with grief and it was a very difficult interview to do. Many times the cause of death for a small infant will be a phenomenon called “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” (a.k.a. SIDS). Apparently, those in the medical field are not sure what causes “SIDS”. For some undetermined reason, the child simply stops breathing.

On this particular occasion, one of the emergency room nurses assisted me in the examination of the small child as it lay on a metal table in one of the ER rooms. The nurse expressed her pity for the child. She explained to me that the parents were especially upset because their infant son had not been baptized. The nurse agreed that truly this was a tragedy because she believed, as did the parents, that the soul of this departed baby, “Would be lost forever in hell without the saving grace of baptism.” I must admit, this expression of belief from the nurse was very upsetting to me. However, in one way, it was also a comfort. I was grateful for the divine truths which are taught to us in the Book of Mormon. Surely, the Lord saw to it, through His ancient prophets, that we were given guidance in this matter. We are taught in the Book of Mormon that repentance and baptism are for those who are accountable and capable of committing sin. Infants and small children are neither accountable or capable and therefore automatically saved by our loving Heavenly Father. The prophet Mormon teaches us in Moroni 8:11-12;

“And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold,
baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the
remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation
of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a
respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism.”

Although I could not tell the grieving parents what Mormon has taught me, I pray that someday
missionaries will knock on their door and share the light of the gospel with them in reference to their sweet child. For some reason, I feel that this will someday happen.

Probably one of the worst types of death that I am called upon to investigate is suicide. As the final days of this earth approach, I find that Satan has subjected many of our brothers and sisters to overwhelming problems. For many, they see the taking of their own lives as the only way out. Unfortunately, suicide is a permanent solution to what is many times only a temporary problem.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie has stated in his book, “Mormon Doctrine” that mortal life is a gift from God and that our lives serve as the time that we are tried and tested physically, spiritually and mentally. Brother McConkie states that no man has the right to run away from these tests, no matter how severe they may be, by taking his own life. I wish to give words of comfort to anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one by suicide. Elder McConkie adds words of hope about this subject by stating:

“Obviously, persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and
become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such
are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgement is the Lord’s; He knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and He in His infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.” (Mormon Doctrine. P.771)

A few years ago, I was assigned to investigate a man who was reported missing by his friends. The man’s name was Bob. Bob was an older man and I believe that he lived alone. Bob was apparently not in good health and his whereabouts were unknown. Unfortunately, before I was able to locate Bob, he took his own life. Bob left a note to his friends and I wish to share it. I believe that Bob’s note teaches us many important principles.

“Bob is no more. It got to be too much . Emphysema, smoked too much,
so my lungs plugged up which slows the oxygen to vital parts, brain, muscles, etc.
it also hurts. Not yet cancer. No known cure. So I could drag it out until I become
a blathering idiot in deep pain. I chose my own time. No funeral, flowers, those
guys make too much now. If you want to do something: smile at a child, forgive
a stupidity, give a smidge even though your pride shrieks.
Doesn’t cost much, pays back fat chunks of goodies.”


Upon reading this note, I was saddened that Bob had been in such pain and that he felt that he had to take his own life. However, I felt that Bob had left behind a very important lesson for us all. In the note, he spoke of the pain caused from his disease which he attributed to smoking. Is it not true that Satan has sought to take away our free agency by placing us under the bondage of those things which ultimately destroy our bodies? Those things being tobacco, alcohol, drugs and other substances?

A loving Heavenly Father has warned us against the usage of such substances, yet our current society thrives on the, “If it feels good, do it!” attitude and the, “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die” syndrome. How can there be any doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet when in 1833, he received the revelation known as the “Word of Wisdom” from the Lord. It has only been in the last few decades that we have been told by the medical field that smoking is linked to cancer and other diseases. Bob needed section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants early in his life. Truly this revelation was and is for all of God’s children.

Unfortunately, many times it is law enforcement officers who witness the tragic consequences of failing to live the word of wisdom. Bob also spoke about loving your neighbor. Christlike things like, smile at a child, forgive a stupidity, give a smidge even though your pride shrieks. He also talked about the joy that comes from doing those things when he said, “Doesn’t cost much, pays back fat chunks of goodies.”

For obvious reasons I cannot be specific about any case that I have investigated. However, concerning homicides, I must state that this terrible crime is one that violates the highest of God’s law and the law of the land. Murder has been with us since our first parents had to grieve over the slaying of Abel by Cain. The Lord has told us in the fifth commandment that, “Thou shalt not kill.” It is my belief that Satan and those who followed him have a direct involvement in all murder. The Book of Mormon teaches us that Satan and his whisperings have turned the hearts of men toward this awful crime. Helaman, an ancient prophet in the Book of Mormon said:

“Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants...were put into the heart of Gadianton by the
same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit. Yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth...Yea, it is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time.”

In many of the murders that I have investigated, I often think about what occurred in the killer’s
mind, just before the grievous act was committed.

It is my belief, that if the suspect could have seen with his spiritual eyes                       
just before the murder, he would see that he was surrounded by all manner
of demons. ...Those who followed Satan.

These spirits would probably be taunting, encouraging and polluting the mind of the killer with
thoughts of violence and rage. The killer gives up his agency, surrenders to the will of his flesh and spills innocent blood. Upon completion of their devilish task, it is my belief that they probably stand and laugh at the killer who used his free agency to kill another and now suffers eternal damnation. Sometimes, I think that I still feel their presence at the crime scene.

I know that the Lord has assisted me in many of the homicides that I have worked. Too many times, police have been directed by the spirit to find a piece of evidence, ask a critical question in an interview or influence a witness to come forward with information. Sometimes, the Lord sees to it that justice takes place while in this earthly domain. In other cases that remain unsolved, I know that the Lord in His infinite wisdom will make everything right. Justice will prevail, if not in this world, then in the next. Those who have committed crimes and think they’ve gotten away, have only fooled themselves. Judgement comes to all.

Before I close, there is one homicide case I want to tell you about. Not long ago, I was called to one of our city parks to take over the investigation of a double shooting. A young man by the name of Ralph and his girlfriend Jenea, had been shot by a gunman who had fled the scene by the time the police arrived. Ralph had been shot twice and was in critical condition. We were unsure if he would live. Jenea had been shot in the head and would never see her twenty first birthday.

Before Ralph lapsed into unconsciousness, he was able to give the officers the name of the shooter. The two had been friends in high-school. So the man-hunt began for eighteen year old David. Three days went by and we were still unable to locate him. David had a history of being violent and we expected a shootout when we finally found and arrested him. On the forth day we received a tip where he had been hiding out. We surrounded the building and called in the SWAT team. After a while, he gave up and was arrested without incident. Just prior to the time my partner and I interviewed him, I was telling my partner that interviewing him was a waste of our time. This guy had a history of being a violent offender and now he was a cold blooded killer. But making an attempt to interview him was part of our job so we decided to give it a try. Because of his history, I fully expected him to invoke his right to remain silent, ending the interview. As the interview began, I was quite unprepared for what was about to happen.

Instead of invoking his right to remain silent, David began to sob and cry. He then gave us a full
accounting of what occurred that night in the park. During his confession, he took responsibility for taking the life of Jenea. He begged for forgiveness and expressed his sorrow for what he had done in such a sincere manor that I could actually feel the anguish of his spirit inside him. I have interviewed hundreds of violent offenders in my career and I pride myself in being a “tough-guy”. But David’s anguish was so great, that I found myself being moved with compassion for him. Everyone is sorry when they are caught, but this guy was actually repentant. I remember thinking as I sat there, that I had never seen in my entire career, someone with such a broken heart and contrite spirit. Just as the scriptures talked about. Suddenly this tough-guy began to crack and tears began to well up in my eyes. My partner looked at me as if I were nuts. But I felt somehow spiritually connected with David and I couldn’t control it. Then suddenly, a thought entered my mind that was not my own. As I sat there spiritually connected to a man I knew was a murderer, the whisper that came to my mind was,

“Yes Allen. Even for him He was crucified.”

Our Savior had even taken upon Himself this crime, hundreds of years ago as he bled from every pore in that sacred garden. Later, I couldn’t help but think about all those out there that think it is too late for them. That what they have done is so serious that there is no hope of Christ’s saving grace for them. I thought about the anguish their spirits must feel for the sins they have committed and yet here I was, sitting next to a murderer and the whisper from the Spirit to me was,

“Yes Allen. Even for him He was crucified.”

David was charged with first degree murder and no,                               
he will not inherit the Celestial Kingdom.
                                                        But he will not be cast out with Satan either.

In closing, I wish to express how proud I am to be a police officer, but even more, I am proud to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful that I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I belong to a church, like no other church on the face of the earth. A church whose threefold mission is: 1) To proclaim the Gospel, 2) To perfect the saints and, 3) To redeem the dead.

            There is no other church in the world that is so involved with those
                                        that have passed on. The ancestors of us all. Our families.

The Book of Mormon is true. It is another valuable piece of evidence that convinces me that we will continue to live after we die. The Book of Mormon convinces me that I have a Savior who loves me unconditionally. I am not perfect and have many faults for which I must repent, but I love the Savior and desire to make Him proud of me. I need His guidance and influence to be an effective police officer.

Because I sometimes see the worst of the worst, I become discouraged and cynical about the world we live in. I find myself wishing, hoping that the second coming of the Lord will come tomorrow and all will be burned as stubble. However, I know that this is not the proper attitude to have. The following is the wise counsel of brother Glen L. Pace, “We need to overcome fatalism. We know the prophecies of the future. We know the final outcome. We know the world collectively will not repent and consequently the last days will be filled with much pain and suffering. Therefore, we could throw up our hands and do nothing but pray for the end to come so the Millennial Reign could begin. To do so would forfeit our right to participate in the grand event we are all awaiting. We must do all we can to prevent calamities, and then do everything possible to assist and comfort the victims of tragedies that do occur.” (Ensign, November 1990. P.8) It is my prayer that in this earth life, we all consider ourselves our brother’s keeper.

May we all endure to the end and keep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And as my patrol sergeant used to say to us all before heading out to our patrol cars,

“...Be careful out there”

                                      Homicide Detective (&RM) Allen M. Reed Badge #183


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Thank you and God bless,


"Think About it..." mailed to your home for only $14.95   S&H included

Read "Think About it..." Online Warrior Stories  | Excerpts | News Articles | Poems
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