COPS Associates


COPS Associates

COPS associates are active member or retired law enforcement members that have answered the call of Matthew 25:36.  They serve the ministry in many different ways.  Travel throughout the country spreading the good new of Jesus Christ.  Most importantly they live their daily lives as examples of Christ filled men and women.  Examples to the many other law enforcement members they work with.  If you are interested in join the COPS team please contact Ken Tutwiler and he will arrange an interview.  God bless and thank you for your interest in COPS!

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to give a wholehearted recommendation of Ken Tutwiler and his ministry, Cops Out Preaching Salvation. Our church recently invited them to come and minister to our body and the local law enforcement community represented in our body and we were very blessed by their visit. They were very punctual, professional, gracious, and were used by God to preach the Gospel to the church and show a side of law enforcement that we don’t see often: compassion and a sincere love for people. Their presentation was varied in that they had a testimony, a song, and a sermon, and through their presentation, were able to effectively minister to different people in different ways.

We know that any church, group, or organization will be just as blessed as we were by their visit and we are excited to see how the Lord will increase His influence with a lost and hurting world through men like Mr. Tutwiler and organizations like Cops Out Preaching Salvation.

In His Service,

Alvin Alcantara
Senior Pastor
Calvary Chapel Whittier

Alvin Alcantara

Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel Whittier

To Whom It May Concern,I am the Chaplain for the Arizona State Prison-Phoenix west. ASP-Phoenix West is a minimum DUI facility for 500 male inmates. This ministry was referred to me by Mike Linderman, Pastoral Services, with the Arizona Department of Corrections.

I called Ken and gave them an invitation to come and minister in our facility. There was some apprehension from the inmates prior to the COPS visit. But fortunately, that was short lived once the team started sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that COPS are doing something that very few police officers across America would attempt to do. They love God and they the criminal and have a true burden for lost souls.

Ken Tutwiler and his team have been in our prison the past two years and are scheduled to come back in the summer of 2009. I would highly recommend them for your facility.

Keep up the good work!

Leonard Grammer

Arizona State Prison-Phoenix West

Police prove to be effective prison ministers Ken Tutwiler uses handcuffs and a Glock 40 handgun in his work as a Riverside police officer. But off-duty, when he visits prisons, Tutwiler carries a Bible and something he says is more powerful than his service weapon: the word of God.
The 41-year-old detective is part of a small group of Riverside police officers who spends his spare time doing something seemingly contradictory to his chosen profession: ministering to criminals.
“Never in my life did I think I would be called into prison ministry,” said Tutwiler, a 6-foot-5 Christian with a confident, booming voice. “I struggle with what some of these young men have done.” Officials with the California Youth Authority, where the officers do most of their preaching, say it is rare for police to be involved in prison ministry.

“It’s sort of a new twist, although it’s an extremely positive twist,” spokeswoman Sarah Ludeman said.  Chaplains say the officers are well-received because they do not judge the inmates, who crowd into chapels to hear the cops speak. An inmate at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino reads along as Ken Tutwiler and fellow police officer Skip Showalter minister to some 85 people.

“They don’t see them as police officers. They see them as men of God when they come here,” said Leonard Wilson-Banks II, a chaplain at Cummins Prison Unit of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. “For a police officer to come inside the prison to the chapel and minister, you know they have to be real. It’s a ministry of love.”  Wilson-Banks has known the men since he was a chaplain at the Chino youth authority, where the officers still do ministry. The officers stayed in touch with the chaplain and have visited his Arkansas facility three times, paying part of their own way. They also have visited other Arkansas prisons.
The ministry is not always easy for the officers, who recall incidents that have tested their calling.  Last year, in Arkansas, an inmate asked the officers if he could help them baptize another man. The inmate told the officers it was important that he helped. Then he told them why: He was in prison for killing a police officer.

“We’re human, and part of us were getting angry that this guy said that he killed a cop,” said Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, who also is involved in the ministry. “The human side of me said, ‘Don’t even stand next to this guy. This guy makes me sick but the God side said ‘I love this guy, too.’ ”
Many Services
Most prisons offer inmates a variety of religious services, including Catholic, Jewish and Muslim celebrations led by chaplains employed by the state. But volunteers such as Tutwiler frequently come into the facilities as guest speakers or ministers.
Tutwiler, a former corrections officer, said he is clear that he does not represent the Police Department when he delivers his message at prisons and youth authorities. He represents Jesus Christ, he says.  On a recent Sunday evening at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino, about 85 men between 18 and 25 file into a chapel for weekly prayer and worship.  The young men, wearing blue pants and shirts and sneakers, shout out prayer requests for friends, family and battered children before a volunteer leads them in praise songs. Many men simply stand still with their arms crossed. Others shake tambourines. A blond man seated on an aisle raises his right arm, revealing a swastika tattoo.  The music stops. Along the sides of the room, corrections officers stand watch, their radios crackling in the silence. After a few words from the chaplain, Showalter takes the stage to introduce Tutwiler, his friend and one-time partner.
“I am a sergeant with the Riverside Police Department. He’s a detective with the Riverside Police Department. But today, we’re just brothers in Christ. That’s OK with you guys, isn’t it?” Showalter says. The wards applaud.
Not Too Late
Tutwiler steps in front of the microphone. He tells the wards about a beautiful purple flower he had seen growing among weeds at an intersection. The weeds are like sin, he says.
“Satan wants to punk you, folks. Quit letting Satan punk you,” he says, as wards snicker. “You can be that pretty purple flower.”
It’s not too late to repent, he says, getting fired up. You’re not losers. Jesus loves you. Tutwiler reads several passages from the Bible, as the wards follow along. He urges them to stop spreading hatred and seek out Jesus. Tutwiler says he prays about the message he delivers and says God directs him.
“Maybe you’re in here because you murdered somebody. Thank God for His grace because He’ll even save you,” he says. Jesus will forgive rapists, he says. He’ll forgive child molesters, he says, as the young men groan in contempt.
“Satan is so fired up that you’re here in state prison,” he continues. The snickering and other noises stop when Tutwiler tells the men about going to a gang shooting that left a 2-year-old girl injured. Some lean forward. It is something they can relate to.  Joel, 19, one of the young men listening to Tutwiler, said he appreciates that the officer goes out of his way to talk to him and the others. Youth authority officials said state laws prohibit them from releasing the last names of the wards.  Joel, whose crimes included carjacking and assault, said he never liked police officers but said Tutwiler has helped change his views. “I don’t look at him as a cop,” he said. “I look at him as the brother in Christ that he is.
“I really enjoy his message because he didn’t come in here and think he’s better than us because we’ve committed crimes or whatever. He looks at us as all equal.” Another ward said Tutwiler’s message is more important than his profession.

“The thing I like about Tutwiler is when he comes in here, he’s just straightforward, to the point, and he grabs your attention by the things he says,” said Javier, 22, who is serving time for drug possession. Toward the end of the service, Tutwiler and Showalter ask those who want to accept Jesus to come to the front. More than a dozen young men walk up to receive a blessing from chaplain Bruce Cunningham.
“I hope it changes their lives. If you truly receive Christ, then you will not commit any more crimes, and so this is one way that crime can be decreased,” Tutwiler said. Detective Randy Ryder, who also is involved in the ministry, agrees. He said inmates have written to the officers over the years, explaining that the officers helped put them on the right path.
“We know of stories where they have truly changed,” Ryder said. “I think that’s pretty powerful.”
Down to Earth
The detective says prison ministry does not change the way he does his job. His compassion would never stop him from putting a bad guy in jail, he said. Cunningham, Heman G. Starks’ Protestant chaplain, has scheduled Tutwiler to speak six times this year. The detective also does what is known as cell ministry, spreading God’s word to inmates in lockdown through the cracks in their doors or through the windows of their cells. Tutwiler is “very down to earth, very in your face,” said Cunningham, who said the detective consistently delivers a powerful message. Tutwiler said he became involved in prison ministry through Showalter, who was first introduced to it through a pastor at his church. Showalter said he initially had misgivings.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” Showalter said of the first time he did the ministry. “Actually, I was worried I was going to run into someone I had arrested.”
That has happened a few times. After the services Sunday, four or five young men approached Showalter and Tutwiler, saying the officers had arrested them. The young men just smiled or laughed as they made that observation. Riverside police Sgt. Leon Phillips, an accomplished singer who went to Arkansas for the first time recently, called the trip one of the best experiences of his life. The ministry is humbling, he said. And officers connect on a spiritual level with people who are so different from them.
“We didn’t meet any monsters,” Phillips said. “We just met a bunch of people who made horrific decisions and got caught,” he said.
Staff Writer Bettye Wells Miller contributed to this report.

Original article written in Press Enterprise by LISA O’NEILL HILL


Press Enterprise

Monica Quijano

I grew up in a Catholic home and  went to Parochial school for twelve years.  As a family we really only went to church together on Easter and Christmas Eve.  I knew that there was a God but he seemed so far away and so impersonal.  I could not recall a time I ever read the Bible.  My only experience with the word of God came from the weekly epistle that was passed out on Sunday mornings.  As I grew up I pulled further away from God, thinking that God was this being that was so far away and not really there, because if He was, I wouldn’t feel so lost.

I began my career in law enforcement a little overt twenty years ago and shortly thereafter had a son as a single mother.  A couple of years later I married a wonderful man and together we parented our beautiful son.  I seemed to have everything that anyone could ask for, a wonderful man that loved me, a healthy child and a good career.  Yet despite all that I had going for me; I still felt this emptiness that just could not seem to be filled.

As I continued to search for something or someone to fill that void I was also looking for a school for my son to attend.  God with His infinite wisdom lead us to enrolling our son at a Calvary Chapel school.  As our son’s first year of school progressed he would share his Bible verses with me.  As I attended his chapel presentations and Sunday morning services at Calvary; little by little God was reaching out His hand to me.  I took His hand and gave my life to the Lord in August of 1997.  For the first time in my life I felt completely filled.

Tina Certeza

I am currently a Police Detective with an agency in Southern California and have been so for over twenty years.  It wasn’t until I had thirteen years on the job that I first came to know the Lord and what a difference it has made in my career and family life.

I didn’t come to know the Lord until seven years ago and before that I made some poor choices in life as a teenager and as a young adult.  I always felt emptiness in my heart and was lost for many years not knowing what was needed to fill the gap.  The choices I made while living in the world at times still affect me, however it’s a whole different ball game knowing that my Abba Father is there to guide me through it all.

My family and I have made Calvary Chapel our home and I am truly blessed to say as a wife and mother that my husband and children know and have accepted the Lord as their savior.  I have experienced and witnessed the Lord perform his work in and through my family.  Not to say that we don’t have our struggles but it is much easier weathering the storm with Him and other believers by our side.

It was twenty years ago that I met my best friend and sister in Christ, Monica.  Our friendship has grown even deeper as we started our spiritual journey together as Christians approximately six years ago.  With similar backgrounds and struggles we are able to ground each other during tough times.

With so much brokenness in this world what better place is there to share God’s word than to those who are incarcerated who need to know that there is a God and He forgives them for the sins they have committed, just as He has forgiven me time and time again.  I’m looking forward to this journey in my life and am completely open to God’s plan for me.

Assurance of Forgiveness – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9

Shawn Hare

I am currently a robbery/Homicide Detective with a small police department in Southern California.  I have been in Law Enforcement for 25 years.   I did not grow up in or around church, in fact my parents were divorced when I was 9 years old.

I struggled to find things to fill the hole in my heart that only JESUS can fill, with three failed marriages.  In 2005, I gave my heart to JESUS and became active in my Church, the Rock Church and World outreach center in San Bernardino.  In walking with JESUS and not against him, I re-married my 3rd wife and we adopted two beautiful boys.

In 2008 I was introduced to Ken Tutwiler and the COPS program and I have been involved ever since.  The best part of my job today is not arresting those who commit homicide, but after arresting them, leading them to CHRIST.  GOD gets all the glory.

Rick Albee

Rick is a former police lieutenant with 29 years of service.  He is the recipient of the police department’s highest accolade, the Medal of Valor, as well as the State of California Attorney General’s Certificate for Valor.

His testimony has been published many times, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Decision Magazine, andthe documentary of Rick’s testimony has been the most requested program on Riverside’s local public television for several years.

He has been a featured speaker at many venues, including:

  • Harvest Crusades,
  • Sandals Church men’s conference,
  • Forest Home men’s conference,
  • Mount Rubidoux Easter Sunrise Service, Riverside, CA,
  • Peace Officers, Firefighters For Christ conferences,
  • Shield of Faith Ministries,
  • Prison and half-way-house ministries in California and Arizona.

as well as numerous other Bible studies, conferences and services.  Rick is a highly enthusiastic, engaging speaker—his audience never goes to sleep!

Rick, and his wife Mary of 42 years have two grown children, and four grandchildren.  They make their home in Riverside, California, where Rick is currently the President of DataChasers®, a computer forensics company.

Bill Crutchfield

I grew up in Bakersfield, where my parents were the pastors of a small rural church. I gave my life to Christ at an early age, was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. When I was a teenager, we moved to Orange County where we continued to attend a Pentecostal Church.

However, as an older teen/ early 20’s, I started to try and handle life on my own, pushing God away. I decided to go into Law Enforcement, instead of ministry. I walked away from God.

My life was empty and lacked purpose. I have been married 3 times. No matter what I was able to acquire, motorcycles, boats, river house, trailers, I still had the empty feeling.

Several years ago, I started attending church again, and “re-dedicated” my life to Christ, but that was mostly lip service. A few years ago, I went on a mission trip to Mexico. Then I truly re-dedicated my life to Christ. Sometimes, or usually, we have to be taken out of our comfort zone for God to reach us. I now have a burning need/desire to tell others about Jesus Christ. For no matter what we obtain, do, are given, or accomplish, it is all worthless without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV)

Everyone dies, and then lives forever. You are either saved and going to spend eternity with Jesus, or you are not and will spend eternity in Hell. I pray I will see you in Heaven!

Randy Ryder

I am a police detective with a police department in Southern California. I have been a police officer for more than 25 years. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I graduated high school, went to college for a year and then enlisted in the Marine Corps.

My parents were Christians and I grew up in a Methodist Church. I knew God and I talked to God, but as I entered into my teenage years my thoughts and actions would not have been pleasing to God.

During my years in the Marine Corps and my early years as a police officer I was dependant upon myself and I did not think I needed God.

In 1982 I met my wife and shortly thereafter got married. I had placed my police career at a higher priority than it probably deserved. As a result I was not walking in a relationship with Christ, my marriage was suffering and other things in my life were not working out either.

By 1984 I found my marriage on the brink of a divorce. With a strong desire to save a failing marriage I turned to the God my parents had brought me to know. I surrendered my life to Christ and began a process of change by tapping in to God’s grace.

Today I worship at a Southern Baptist Church near my home. We have been blessed with two sons, both who have received Christ as their personal Savior. My wife and I lead a small group at church. We have a heart for couples experiencing marriage challenges. We belief a marriage is worth fighting for. I attend a men’s Bible study called Mighty Men of Valor because I believe men need to be in fellowship with one another and hold each other accountable as Christians.

I used to tell people the reason I serve in the COPS ministry is because our God is a God of second chances. But, I believe it is better said that He is a God of new beginnings. We travel all over the country preaching the love of Jesus Christ because I know if he gave me the opportunity to have a new beginning he will do the same for others.

God has opened the doors for us to preach in the prisons in Arkansas. He has also given us a special place in our hearts for the people of Arkansas and we continue to keep you in our prayers. May God continue to bless you richly!

Leon Phillips

My spiritual journey began before I was seven years old. My father and mother were married for several years before my sister was born. I came two years after that. The work of the enemy of our souls became very apparent during those years as he successfully caused our family to deteriorate into a mother with two small children and a missing father figure from the home. Through the years that followed, my sister remained in church despite our mother’s spiritual wandering. She never fully lost her first true love but did not pursue God’s work in her life as she once had. She eventually came back to a full relationship with the Lord through the church that she had sent my sister and I to. She came with us on Mother’s Day and rededicated her life to Christ as His faithfulness in the preservation of her children became apparent.

I found myself carrying bitterness over the absence of my father and the missing pieces of my manhood training that only a father can fill. As I grew I began to recognize the only person that was being harmed by my bitterness was me. I had no relationship with him so he had no idea what my feelings were. This became a turning point for me in a long and perhaps decades long restoration and healing that brought me to spiritual manhood. I took steps to overcome my bitterness and to move on without holding my father to task for his failures. I realized that in our sparse contact over the years there were the roots of the bitterness I so desperately wanted to escape.

I started to actively rebel against the notion of becoming the man who my father was. This was not an obsession but was a driving force in my existence until the revelation that I had allowed my life to be defined in terms of who I did not want to be; even to the point of refusing to use his name and reacting with irritation when others joked by calling me that name. I failed to really reach spiritual manhood because my life was like a photographic negative that illustrated the opposite of what should have been my reality.

I was married with children and had to find a way to make a positive change in not only my self-image but in my image to my wife and children. I was broken to realize I was a failure as a man, a husband and a father. The very things I rebelled against were what I had become. I needed a genuine restoration experience with the Heavenly Father that had always wanted to be there for me but I never looked to for a role model. I had been a Christian but not a reflection of Christ. I started to seek first His kingdom and to pursue a relationship with Christ that would make me become like him. My life would be defined in terms of who I wanted to be instead who I did not want to be. I learned that “He who pursues righteousness and loyalty, finds life, righteousness and honor” was a promise I could live and grow with. My children have a Godly father, my wife has a Godly husband and most of all I have a loving Heavenly Father who is now my mentor and role model. That is the message we bring to the prison ministry; that no matter what path we have taken to reach the place where we recognize we have failed, when we get there, God will be waiting to step in and lift us from the water to walk with him

Joe Avila

I grew up in a Christian home and went to church following some Jewish customs.  My mother was the strong believer at the time.  My father was a very good man, but during my childhood did have a relationship with the lord.  I went to church and would sit as my uncle would teach the word of God with fire and passion.  As a young boy I knew the power of prayer that I learned from my mother.  My mother was a prayer warrior and would pray for many people on a daily basis including my father.

I began my career in law enforcement thirty three years ago and will be retiring December 29th, 2011.  During my third year in law enforcement I married my beautiful and awesome wife.  We had two beautiful daughters.  During our early years of marriage I was not walking with the lord and neither was my wife.  She grew up in a catholic home but the only time she went to church with her family was during the holidays.  The study of God’s word was not in her home.  She did have awesome parents who I loved very much.  As time went on my wife started seeking the lord.  We had a good life with its up and downs but something was missing.  Well those who seek the lord will find him and she did. Twenty years ago she found him and turned into a ball of fire for the lord.  She is a prayer warrior and study’s God’s word.  One day she asked me to go to church with her and I did many years ago.  The fire was re-ignited in me when I heard God’s word taught.  And now all my family serves the lord.

We lost our parents at very young ages.  But with the power of prayer my father and my wife’s parents came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  So we know one day we will see them again.  Teaching God’s word in my life and I will serve him all my days.

Marylou Avila

I grew up in a very loving family.  I grew up as a catholic but only went to church on holidays.  I made my first holy communion but I did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We never studied the bible and I never read it.  My parents were awesome and taught us good morals but we did not have a relationship with Jesus and I didn’t know I needed to be born again as Jesus taught in the gospel of John chapter three.

On June 27th, 1981 I was married to my loving husband.  As a young couple we had our up and downs.  I felt something was missing in my life.  I started seeking the lord.  A neighbor began sharing the word of God with me.  She invited me to her church (Calvary Chapel) and I went.  For the first time in my life I heard the word of God taught right out of the bible word for word.  My heart was over joyed and my relationship with him began and for the first time I started reading his word.  I learned about the power of prayer and saw its power first hand.  Through prayer my husband went with me to church.  I found out that my husband knew God’s word and he returned to the lord.  Now he teaches God’s word.  Sometimes I go with him to his teachings and pray for him while he teaches God word.

We had two beautiful daughters and they both serve the lord.  Our eldest daughter became a school teacher at a Christian school and our younger daughter is following in her father footsteps and was hired as a police cadet.  Following the lord is a joy for us and we will continue to serve him all our days.  And I will continue to pray for all those the lord puts in my heart.

Clarence Dodson

For part of my childhood life, I grew up in the City of Compton, California. I am the second to the youngest of eight   children. Our house was always busy with all of us kids going from one sporting event to another. I was very fortunate and blessed to grow up with both parents in the home. My parents were both strong Christians and very involved in the church. I was blessed to attend Christian Schools throughout my school years. Therefore, I was able to come to know the Lord at an early age.

It was a slow process to mature in my Christian walk. As I grew into a man, I continued to attend church. However, at one point in my early years as an adult, I found myself drifting away from God.   Although I tried running from Him, God never took his hands off of me. It was not until my father went home to be with the Lord, that he loved so dearly that I realized God had a calling on my life. I always knew God wanted something more out of me than I was giving Him. That is when I began to reconnect with God and get back into church.

Now I’m a little older and a little wiser, however, I do have a lot more to learn. God has been so good to me, better than I will ever be. Through it all, God has kept me safe and has allowed me to provide for my family. He has allowed me to be a police officer for 11 years. I have been blessed with a beautiful wife and two wonderful children. I have a future that I am so excited for.  God truly has something in store for everyone. It is up to each individual to find their way and persevere through the trenches while letting God lead the way. May God shine a guiding light on you and your family.

Ron Batesole

I grew up on the west side of Los Angeles and graduated from Venice High School in 1962. I played football and baseball in high school, making All-League in football. In 1965, I joined the US Navy Reserve and served aboard the USS Princeton LPH 5, an amphibious assault ship which assisted with landing US Marines, via helicopter, in the jungles of Viet Nam. In 1968, I joined the LAPD and also got married. From 1962 to 1977, I attended several colleges and universities, finally graduating from Cal State Los Angeles with a BS degree in the Administration of Criminal Justice.

In 1974, my life became morally degraded. I cheated on my wife and drank too much alcohol. The peer pressure from fellow police officers formed the basis for my decision-making. About that same time, I met an officer who was also a Christian. He encouraged me to change my thinking and shared Christ with me. However, sin was too much fun and I thought the things of the Lord were foolishness.

In 1978, at my friend’s urging, I prayed a prayer for salvation. However, I was not committed to Jesus and lived as a “double-minded man” for another two years.

Finally, in December of 1980, while I was in the midst of another affair, the Lord got my attention! I heard the Holy Spirit telling me that I was not meant to live the kind of life I was living. I was truly convicted of my sinful ways and repented of them. Jesus moved the 18 inches from my head into my heart and I began a committed relationship with Him. I asked my wife to forgive me and we began attending a local church. We attended counseling and tried to get our lives on a course that brought glory to God. Then, I served as a high school sponsor, making several trips to Mexico and other places, as the driver of the church youth bus.

In 1986, became involved in a ministry bringing God’s Word to prisoners in Parker Center jail, the main jail for the LAPD. At the junction of the Holy Spirit, I responded to the Lord’s calling to bring light into dark prisons. I’ve been involved in prison ministry ever since. I serve in Kairos Prison Ministry at Chino State Prison and at Victorville Federal Prison. I’m also involved in Bill Glass Prison Ministry, riding my motorcycle into prison yards in the San Joaquin Valley and sharing Christ with the inmates. In 2012, I became involved in Cops Out Preaching Salvation (COPS) at Chino State Prison. In addition, I’m the president of Golgotha Riders, a Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) chapter in the Northern Los Angeles County, sharing Christ with bikers at rallies and various other activities. At my home church, I’m involved in Celebrate Recovery and participate in a small group fellowship.

My wife and I have been married for 47 years. I have three children, one grandson and one on the way.

Although, my marriage is still not what God desires, I am committed to my wife. And as far as it has to do with me, am at peace with her and all others. I am blessed frequently by providential appointments and opportunities to be a witness for Christ.

Bill Threlkeld

Bill Threlkeld

My name is Bill Threlkeld. I’m retired from the Police Department in Riverside, California.  I’ve recently been blessed to join the “Cops Out Preaching Salvation” Ministry.
Like many Christians, I was raised in a strong Christian home.  My grandparents were “sold-out” born again believers.  They lived their lives in a way that brought glory to God, always putting Christ first in our home.    I gave my life to the Lord, and was baptized when I was thirteen years old.  I had a strong walk in the Lord through my high school years.  As I went on to college, and then began my law enforcement career, unfortunately I became more of a “casual” Christian.  God was important to me when I had time.  I thought I was in control of my life.  Oh the lies we believe?
During my law enforcement career, I suffered the loss of several great friends, and my partner.  I was involved in several critical incidents that really challenged my faith.  At times, I turned to sinful outlets, instead of bringing my burdens to Jesus.  I evidentially found myself in brokenness and despair.  The Devil used my despair against me.  How could God love someone like me?  But the Love of God shone through my brokenness and reminded me of His Son’s sacrifice at Calvary.  How I had been acquitted, with every stain of sin washed clean.  I was sheltered safe in His Hand.  I was so thankful for my Christian foundation, and the prayer warriors that my grandparents were.
After eighteen years, my law enforcement career came to an end.  I was medically retired as the result of a catastrophic knee injury.  It was a challenging time.  My identity as a COP was such a huge part of my life.  But the Lord reminded me that I was a child of God first!  I was reminded that we should never hold on to anything so tightly that we couldn’t stand it when God took it away.  I knew the Lord had a “new mission” for me.  I have found that with “Cops Out Preaching Salvation.”
Over the last fifteen years, I’ve been involved in ministries at Yucaipa Christian Center, leading a small group fellowship.  We lived in Monroe, Louisiana for eight years, where I served as the Administrative Coordinator at First Baptist Church of Sterlington.  For the past year, after moving back to California, we’ve attended the Grace Fellowship in Cherry Valley.  I sing with the praise and worship group, and am involved with the Missional Community Fellowship.
I have been so blessed to have had a wonderfully supportive wife for the past 35 years.  She has been a rock in the Lord, and was there to pick me up and carry me when I didn’t think I could carry on.  We have two great adult children who both love the Lord.  I am so thankful for them all.  God has been faithful and blessed my family as we’ve honored him.
I’ve always had a burden for those lost in the sin of addiction.  It has been such a blessing to minister and talk with those who are reaching out for the Lord from that place of brokenness.   I know the Lord will honor our effort to serve him in addiction recovery facilities and correctional facilities.  My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
In Christ,
Bill Threlkeld
Sgt.,  Riverside Police Department (Ret.)
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