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"When a cell phone rings and the owner dashes to the door in the middle of this lunchtime speaker, he won't get a dirty look. It comes with the territory of being Cops for Christ. The group of law enforcement officers from Caddo, Bossier, and Webster parishes meets monthly to reaffirm their faith and reenergize their career. 'It teaches them that they are not alone, the Lord is with them,' said Ed Baswell, leader of the group. "They also have fellow cops who are Christians.' In 40 plus years of police work, Bossier Sheriff Chief Deputy Don Rittenberry has seen just about everything. But every time he goes out on a call, he prays for guidance. At the end of the day, that's what lets him sleep. '[My faith] gives me confidence to know I can handle anything,' he said. 'I have an inner peace that comes from knowing you've got someone you can call.'

"The group was founded about 30 years ago to provide a place for fellowship and prayer. At that time, Rittenberry said, the mancho world of law enforcement didn't leave much room for religion. With about 50 people at this month's lunch, the officers seem open to prayer and professing their faith. Members range from local police to state troopers to FBI agents. . . . While closing, Baswell choked back tears, reminding the officers that regardless of the sometimes horrible circumstances they end up in, God will not forsake them. And joining hands, the officers offered their own petitions and asked for God's protection."

Diane Haag
The Times (Shreveport, LA)
"Police seek guidance, support through Cops for Christ"
August 22, 203

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September 22, 2003

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