Public Safety Officers Appreciation Day
By Charlotte Erickson
Battle Creek Tabernacle Hosts Public Safety Appreciation Day
Members of the Battle Creek Tabernacle showed their appreciation for local police officers and fire fighters in a special church service on September 22, 2007.
Representatives from the Battle Creek Fire and Police Departments gave presentations on the services they provide for area residents. Tom Headley, a retired public safety officer and member of the Tabernacle, gave a tribute to fallen officers. Fifty-five police officers nation wide lost their lives in the line of duty in 2005, the latest year FBI statistic are available. Those statistics hit close to home in 2005, when Battle Creek Detective LaVern Brann was killed while investigating the murder of a Battle Creek cab driver. Headley expressed appreciation to Brann and his family and other officers who have sacrificed their lives while performing their duties.
Also honored was church member Robert Houghtaling, who had a 37-year career as a police officer – first for the Battle Creek Police Department and later for Bedford Township. In 1975 he won the Medal of Valor for his assistance with a bank robbery. The last seven years of his career he served as Public Safety Director of Bedford Township. His daughter, Linda Jerzyk, spoke on behalf of his family and the church family.
Pastor Bruce Moore spoke for the church when he expressed appreciation to all of the men and women of the police and fire departments who risk their lives in service for their community. Each public safety officer in attendance was given a copy of the book, The Embrace of God, written by church member Dr. Lloyd Erickson.
Officer David Timmer was grateful for the opportunity to speak to the church on behalf of the police department. “We thank you for what your church has done today,” he said.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to invite guests to our church and let them know how much we appreciate
them,” said one church member.
At the end of the service, the congregation was asked to contribute to the Battle Creek Fallen Officers Memorial. This memorial is being built on the grounds of the Battle Creek Police Department headquarters and will honor officers who have died in the line of duty. The offering totaled $452 and was presented to Officer Timmer.
Additional links on this topic: