Canteens and spiritual care

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Salvation Army serves at memorial for fallen police officer.

by Ken Cavallero –

Canteen crews provided comfort and support at the recent memorial service for Police Sergeant Paul Starzyk. [Photo by Ken Cavallero]

On September 11, 2008, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) canteens and crews from Concord and Marin counties (Calif.) joined with emotional and spiritual care (ESC) officers form Concord, Napa, Petaluma, San Rafael and North Bay Command, at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord. They came to hand out over 1,500 bottles of water, show support, provide a ministry of presence along with emotional and spiritual care at the memorial for 47-year-old Martinez Police Sergeant Paul Starzyk who was killed in the line of duty on September 6.

ESC officer Capt. Fred Rasmussen, North Bay county coordinator for the Del Oro Division, commented: “This service was particularly touching for me. It took me back to my own days in law enforcement and the profound loss I experienced when a partner was killed. The challenge of dealing with personal grief while simultaneously being in the public eye and charged with keeping them safe is difficult. I was able to speak privately with several of the police personnel. We had a moment to share “cop-to-cop” about their feelings. I pray God used those moments to bring some comfort and a reminder of his hope for all of us in Christ.”

The memorial drew family, friends and over 3,000 police officers from all over California and Nevada, including Calif. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Attorney General Jerry Brown. Starzyk leaves behind his wife, Shannon, a Contra Costa sheriff’s deputy, and three children: Vincent (6), Jacob (4), Jessica (20 months).

Concord EDS team included: Chuck Graham, Richard Lueck, Rory Vander Heyden, Larry Loomer and Charles Henry. The Marin EDS team included Ben Jones, Ehren Osbourn and Eric Humphrey.

Participating as ESC officers were Major Clay Gardner, Captains Fred and Patti Rasmussen, Captain Rachael Johnson, Captain Scott Schneider, Envoy Emily Jones and Ken Cavallero.

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