Timothy Christian School welcomed more than thirty-five officers from law enforcement on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. The officers represented twelve different departments from towns and cities across New Jersey including: Edison, Piscataway, Branchburg, Fanwood, Franklin, Maplewood, North Brunswick, North Plainfield, Springfield, Plainfield, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the State Police.
Officers joined the TCS community for a very moving Chapel as teachers, students and administrators recognized officers for their dedication, sacrifice and hard work.
Sargent Lonnie Peele with the NJ State Police expressed what many in attendance were feeling.
“I think it is great that the Timothy Christian School community, especially the students, are showing appreciation for what we do. It is not too often that we are thanked for what we do. It takes a lot of time from our families and it is good to see that we are being appreciated.”
The mayor of Piscataway, Brian Wahler, attended the morning’s activities, as well, which started with breakfast followed by the Chapel service to honor those who work hard protecting our state.
“It is amazing coming here today. It was really nice to meet a lot of the kids. We had a great breakfast and the presentation was fantastic, especially the band,” said Detective Mike Braun, North Brunswick Police Department.
Students in all three levels at Timothy: elementary, middle and high school, attended the Chapel presenting each department in attendance with a special certificate to thank them for their service.
TCS School Superintendent, Hubert Hartzler says the event is meant to show officers just how appreciated they are. He explained for those in attendance what the Bible has to say about law enforcement.
“What a privilege it was for us to recognize and appreciate law officers who are ministers of God,” said Hartzler. “In Romans 13:7 it commands us to give honor and respect to those in government and positions such as law enforcement. We felt this was a great example to show our students just how that looks. If you oppose authority in your life, you oppose God, and we are training our children to understand that.”
“I am really glad the school chose to do this. Maybe it will encourage kids to not be scared of police, but instead be calm and talk to them,” explained Officer Steven Bailey, a Juvenile Detective with the Plainfield Police Department.
Timothy’s own Security Officer, Marty Conte, who is a former New Jersey police officer of 33 years, spoke to the crowd and gave a powerful testimony about the impact giving his life over to Christ has made on him.
“Every day you carry a heavy burden. You will be judged by how you handle your assignments, fair or not. That is a tremendous burden and one that can wear you down over time if you do not have anywhere to turn to find peace and comfort,” explained Conte. “There is One who knows you and hears you, even in your most trying times! I share this with you so that you will understand that God, through Jesus, changes lives and offers comfort to those of us who serve in a job that has its heavy burdens.”
The words of encouragement made a lasting impression on some of those in attendance.
“As a Christian and an officer, I was filled with joy to see the wonderful outpouring of support and love the students and staff showed the law enforcement community,” said Officer Kate Prosica, Branchburg Twp. P.D. “I was reminded, because sometimes we forget the gift we have been given because of how our world is. Today I saw that God has so many people praying for us and who respect what we do. The students and staff, I believe, revived that in me today.”
“Unfortunately, in today’s world, we as police officers are not always shown the care and compassion that TCS showed today. Often we are portrayed as the “bad guys” when really it’s the actions of others that have caused the outcome. The students and staff today spoke to us with care, compassion and genuine appreciation for what we do and deal with. I believe this meant everything to every police officer in attendance,” said Corporal Foster Ziegler, Springfield Police Department.
Among the many officers were two TCS alumni, Melissa Soucek, a State Trooper and Class of 2007 and Matt Jones, a police officer in Maplewood and Class of 2005.
“I’m very proud to be back as an alumna. I’m very thankful to TCS for doing this,” said Soucek.
Each officer in attendance was prayed over by Pastor Dennis McNulty and given The Law Enforcement Officer’s Bible. Dr. Hartzler also challenged all TCS students and faculty to pray for law enforcement any time they see a policeman/woman.
The Timothy community would like to thank each officer in attendance and all law enforcement in our state for their dedication and sacrifice. We will continue to pray for the safety of each department.
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God. The authorities that exist have been established by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgement on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good and you will have his approval. For he is God’s minister to you for good. Romans 13:3-5