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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 Mark Reyes

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

Iím an 25 year veteran for Jesus Christ and an 15 year
veteran as a peace officer in the great state of Arizona.

ďI speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those that do not
belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.Ē Alma 5:62

I am a convert to the Church. In April of 1979, at the age of twelve, I was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the only true and restored church of Jesus Christ upon the face of the earth. That was a marvelous day in my life, one which I shall never forget. December 22nd, 1989, was also a great day in my life. It was the day that I graduated from the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy and now was numbered among several thousand other ďPeace Officers.Ē If you read a Police Officerís certification, it says; ďPeace Officer.Ē Remember the Saviorís teachings as he preached the Sermon on the Mount? ďBlessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.Ē (Matthew 5:9)

What a privilege for all people to have this charge to be a ďPeace Maker!Ē

One night while on patrol, I was dispatched to a report of ďsuspicious activity.Ē The call soon appeared on my squad carís computer screen. The comments read, ďAn elderly woman and her ten year old grandson saw objects flying through their living room while they were watching television together and there was no one else in the home.Ē I was immediately intrigued with the information surrounding this call as I anxiously and curiously went on my way to this, my first ever, possible encounter with GHOSTS???

          They say that those of us in law enforcement are often forced
                    to wear several hats, so I guess itís appropriate to say that tonight,
                               I was wearing the hat of a GHOSTBUSTER!!!


Sure, the thought crossed my mind while going to the call, that this elderly woman was probably in the earlier stages of Alzheimerís disease but we are trained to listen and then try to come to the proper solution. With this in mind, I arrived and met with a sixty four year old woman and her ten year old grandson. This kind woman began explaining to me that she and her grandson were sitting in the living room, watching television, when they heard the volume rise and they saw the channels begin to change all on their own. They were both sitting on couches away from the television and neither one of them had changed the channel with the remote control.

They thought this was strange and they did not pay much attention to it. They continued to watch the television, when to their amazement, they saw the telephone, the telephone answering machine and a small lamp fly into the air and drop onto the middle of the living room floor where they were sitting.

They both became frightened at this point and rightfully so. They both got up from their chairs and decided it would be a good idea to leave the home and go next door to a neighbor where they could call the police. As her ten year old grandson was preparing to leave, the cabinet doors began to open and shut at will and a plastic spatula came flying towards him, almost striking him in the head. After listening to this story, I was a little, actually a lot, skeptical and this elderly woman sensed it. She assured me that she was not crazy or under the care of a psychologist. She was quick to let me know that she was a Christian and that she was an honest person. She said that she knew what she was telling me sounded crazy, but these things truly happened.

               She said she was not sure why she called the police,
                                                   she just thought that we might be able to help.

This woman seemed to be sincere with her reasoning of this chain of events. But it was when her grandson confirmed her story with this same sincerity that made me change my thinking, as I slowly began to believe them. I walked through the house and I saw the telephone, the telephone answering machine, and the lamp as they lay on the living room floor. I saw the spatula as it lay under the dining room table next to the side door. I saw the kitchen cabinets and drawers all opened. I saw all this evidence and I felt in my heart that I was not being deceived. I knew that the Holy Ghost was whispering to me that what had just been explained, did in fact take place.

The Holy Ghost whispered the truth of this to me and I could not deny it.

Well, the woman and her grandson had gathered a few of their things and they were on their way next door to stay with the neighbors when I took a few minutes and spoke with the man who was going to take them in. He explained to me that this woman had complained of strange things happening in her home on more than one occasion, so the events of this particular evening did not surprise him or his wife. I asked him to give me a brief history about this woman. He said that he knew she was a widower. He said that she had lived next door to him now for the past six or seven years and he knew that her husband had committed suicide in their previous home.

With that, I watched this woman and her grandson walk next door to their neighborís home and I began to drive away. As I was leaving, I heard a voice telling me to go back and pray with that woman and child but, I let it go and I continued to drive away. Immediately I heard this voice again telling me to go back and pray with that woman and child and I could no longer ignore the prompting.

          I knew they were the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
                    They were the promptings of my Spiritual Partner.
                              My Spiritual Back-up who rides with me while I patrol the streets.
                                        So I acted upon those whisperings from the Spirit.


I turned my cruiser around and found myself back at this elderly womanís home. I told her that I too was a Christian and I explained that I came back because I felt impressed to pray with her and her grandson. With permission granted, I called my dispatcher to tell her that I would be off the air for a few minutes and I told her that she could reach me by phone if I was needed. I then turned off my radio and I asked this woman if it would be all right to pray in the very living room that she and her grandson had this experience and she agreed. I told her that I had a family and that when we prayed, we knelt down and held hands. She said that would be fine so we knelt down in the middle of the living room, hands held,

          ...and I offered a prayer of peace to be in that home.
                    I prayed for the comfort of the Holy Ghost to be with these good people
                              and to be the protector within the walls of the home.
                                        I prayed for the evil influences to leave.

With that, I closed the prayer in the name of Jesus Christ and our heads were raised and our eyes now wide open. I could feel the Spirit there with us as we prayed together and with tears welling up in their eyes, this woman and her grandson looked at me and said,

ďThank you. Iím glad they sent you.Ē

I too am glad I was sent to this call but, more than that, I was grateful that I listened and did not
ignore the powerful promptings and whisperings of the Holy Ghost that night. In our line of work, it is very important that we be in tune with the Holy Ghost as this will lead us to paths of spiritual and physical safety. This, of course, does not necessarily mean that we will never be hurt or even lose our lives in the line of duty. It is of great comfort to us to know that should we ever experience such a tragedy, our Heavenly Father will be with us in our time of need. He will be with us because He will send the Holy Ghost to be our strength and our great comforter.

What a wonderful experience this was for me. I look for these experiences each day at work. Iím not afraid to search for these things. Maybe itís because I truly fear God more than man. We have a policy within our police department which states that we are not to discuss religion on the job. Well, if my supervisors only knew the number of times Iíve shared a gospel message about my religion, they would, per-policy, have reason to reprimand me. Itís a chance that I am and always will be willing to take.

Iíve been shot at before. Iíve even been pinned down from gunfire for forty-five minutes before. Iíve been the first on the scene to assist another agency as I watched paramedics feverishly work to save the life of that police departmentís fallen brother. He was shot in the head and you could not make out any of his facial features. I stood vigil over his murderer in an effort to protect the crime scene as detectives from my agency worked to put the pieces of this bloody puzzle back together. Iíve found the murdered body of a seventy year old man in the middle of the Arizona desert as he lay bound, gagged, and blind folded. The reason for this manís murder? His RV and a few dollars. Iíve even helped bury a good friend and a fellow officer who died a tragic death in the line of duty. At that time, I worked for the University of Arizona Police Department.

I wrote a poem about my friend. It was the way I was able to grieve and mourn the loss of my brother. It happened on a routine fight call. Nothing out of the ordinary. Upon the arrival of the first responding officer, shots were heard. Then a man was found with a gun. Suddenly the call was no longer ordinary. The poem tells of the death of a brave officer and the beginning of many nightmares for another.

A Night We Wonít Forget...

                          We have a job to do. A job that we do well.  
                                 
August twenty fourth, the night an officer fell  
                          Responding to a call, a fight that just broke out,  
                                  Another bloody nose or two, is that what itís about?  
                          Arriving on the scene, my back-up now in sight,  
                                  A young man with a gun in hand, itís more that just a fight.

                          Heís aiming at my partner, I know what I should do,  
                                   Iíll lunge and take the threat away, so he wonít shoot at you.  
                          Heís pointing at my face now, I have to draw my gun.  
                                  No partner! Donít you rush him! My God, what have you done?
                          I knew I had to shoot him, you pushed him so Iíd stand.  
                                  Your life you gave it for me, the courage of your hand.

                           And now I will long suffer, the tremors of that night.  
                                   Responding to a routine call, your back-up for a fight.  
                           Each day we put our badge on in order to protect,  
                                   The students on our campus who give us no respect.  
                           We have a job to do, a job that we do well.  
                                   August twenty fourth, a night that seemed like hell.

                                                   Dedicated to two friends. Officer Ron Smallwood.
                                              And Officer Kevin Barlycorn, Killed in the line of duty.

                                                                    Officer R.  Mark Reyes, #10295

I'd like to share just one more story with you. This one happening just a couple of months ago while I was with my partner Officer John FitzGerald, we were doing some follow-up in a problem area of our city. We were inside of a trailer that is known for drug activity and has become a "Flop House" for people who literally have no cares in the world other than to use their drugs.

As John and I were walking through the trailer, we came across a young man not quite 20 years old. We had this young man step outside and I asked him for identification. As I spoke with this Child of God, I noticed he was staring at me almost with curiosity. This young man, whom I will refer to as "Joe," asked if I remembered him. As Joe asked me this question I noticed his last name listed on his drivers license. I immediately realized that Joe was in my former ward of 8 years. At the time I was in that ward, I remember Joe and his family. Joe was much younger and smaller then, probably the reason I did not recognize him right away. I remember his mother and father divorced and this broke up their family structure. I also remember that Joe's older brother had offended his younger sister and if I'm not mistaken, he offended Joe as well. I'm saddened to say that as a result of Joe's older brothers actions, Joe's brother is now in prison and will be for a while longer.

As I spoke with Joe, I saw what I would call, a lost soul,
but nevertheless, still a Child of God.

He was my brother in Christ. A lost lamb of the flock of our Savior Jesus Christ. As I listened to Joe, he expressed deep and resentful feelings towards his brother, his mother, and father. Joe has been living here and there and although he would not admit it, he also struggles with a drug habit.

Before I go to work each day, I try to make a point of asking Heavenly Father to help me to have a Spiritual experience where I might influence someone for good. I couldn't help but feel the Spirit as I spoke with Joe. I knew I had to ask so, I did, "When was the last time you read the scriptures?" Joe looked at me almost too embarrassed to answer that he had not read his scriptures in almost 2 years. Joe said that he still had his scriptures, he just did not have them with him. I wasn't convinced with his answer.

            The Scripture, "In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least
                               of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" came to mind.

We have been instructed by a Prophet of the Lord to be ready and prepared to share the gospel, but more importantly, we have been taught by the Master to, leave the ninety and nine and seek after the lost one. The lost lamb. We have been told to become fishers of men, especially among our brothers and sisters who have let go the iron rod.

I asked Joe if I was to give him a Book of Mormon, would he take it. Reluctantly, Joe agreed to take this sacred book and I walked Joe to my squad car where I reached inside to retrieve the book from my work bag. I handed the book to Joe and asked him to read the Book of Enos. You'll remember this was a wonderful example of repentance as Enos prayed all the day long and even into the night as he petitioned the Lord for the welfare of his own soul.

Enos was forgiven. So too could Joe if this is the desire of his heart.

Joe took the book and he agreed to read the Book of Enos. I left Joe with his Book of Mormon and I left feeling as though I had been on an errand from the Lord. My prayer for the day had been answered. Now, I do not know if Joe actually read or will read from the Book of Mormon, but this I do know; Joe had the courage and the faith to take this sacred book hopefully to keep for a very long time. Hopefully to keep as a beacon to one day guide him back to his family and back to his Heavenly Father, even to again be numbered among the saints.

                                                 I prayed for Joe that night.

About a month later, I was talking with another Officer who contacted Joe about 3 weeks after I had. Unknown to me at the time. This Officer found Joe, unfortunately, at another drug house. This Officer looked through Joe's duffle bag and as he was looking through it, guess what he found? The very Book of Mormon I presented to Joe not long before. Joe told the Officer,

"Officer Reyes gave me that book."

I am so thankful that I was ready to share the Gospel with Joe that day. I am even more grateful that Joe still had the Book of Mormon with him when the other Officer had occasion to contact him.

We must always be ready to share our testimonies. We should never be ashamed of what we know to be true. We need only to remember what the Prophet of the Lord has counseled us, even President Gordon B. Hinkley, "Remember that GOD is at the Helm." Never fear, rather, always lend HOPE. I think I'll pray for "Joe" tonight.

I have served as Second Counselor in the Bishopric, as the High Priest group leader in our ward and currently serve on the High-Council in our stake. In the name of Jesus Christ, I bear witness to all who have read these few remarks, that Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior. He has provided a way for us, through his atoning sacrifice, to return to the presence of a loving Heavenly Father if we but follow His commandments. If we repent and then forsake our sins. I testify to all people that the Holy Ghost is real. He can be our constant companion if we live in such a way that would invite His Spirit to be with us. I testify that the work that we as police officers do, is the very work that Christ would have us do.

ďAnd behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;
that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow
beings ye are only in the service of your God.Ē
                   Mosiah 2:17

What a marvelous work to be engaged in!                                                
May we all live worthy to have the constant championship
of the Holy Ghost is my hope and prayer.

This testimony I share with all                                              
in the sacred name of our Lord and Master,
even Jesus Christ,
                             Amen.

Officer R. Mark Reyes Badge #10295

                   

                                                      

If you are or were a police officer, soldier, fireman
or wife, mother, father of such or some other branch of emergency personnel
and would like to share an unusual testimony building experience with others,
please contact us for details at

Samuel@ldscops.com

or use the link on the front page of this site at

www.LDSCOPS.com

Thank you and God bless,

Samuel-LDS

"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
Rear Cover | Reviews | About the Book | About the Author | Order | E-Mail  |  Home

S&J Liberty Publishing
P.O. Box 7899   Mesa, AZ 85216-7899
A 317 page full size book, mailed to your home for only $14.95   S&H included