Deputies on weekdays, ministers on weekends

March 19, 2012 8:27:04 PM PDT
A trio of Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies share a special bond. While their daily jobs in law enforcement are quite different, it's their role on the weekends that makes them even more unique.

For 22 years, Deputy Ruben Morales has patrolled the streets of Harris County, never quite sure what the day might bring.

"We have a lot of burglaries that occur during the daytime," he said.

Across the county, Major Edwin Davis oversees the inmate education program. There, inmates learn skills from cooking to making furniture and even auto body repairs.

The former HPD officer has played many roles in 35 years of law enforcement.

"We're not just locking up people, they're getting something in return and society is also getting something in return," Davis said.

The criminals are already captured by the time they get to detention officer Collins Page and enter a world of care, custody and control.

As these three officers approach the weekend, their roles move from enforcing morality to teaching it.

"Thinking about it biblically, Jesus Christ is a chief policeman," Page said.

On Sunday mornings, the same hands that may cuff a criminal bring peace to the people. The three deputies share a love for their faith and lead their churches as ordained ministers.

"I don't find it a gear shift. It's a consistent lifestyle and because the man I am behind the pulpit is the same person I am Monday through Saturday, there's no drastic change, there's just a drastic change of dress," Morales said.

From the smaller congregation Deputy Morales founded eight years ago, to a Sunday morning welcome at a large and powerful house, where Pastor Davis preaches to his congregation, their unique roles give them opportunities both places.

"A lot of experiences I receive here and other places I may incorporate them in some of the messages," Davis said.

"I have to be careful with that and where I'm able to blend it in, I may not necessarily quote a Bible book chapter and verse but the principle is there," Page said.

And when force is necessary on the job?

"While we are ministers and people of faith, you have to uphold your duties as a law enforcement officer," Morales said.

Whether encouraging a group of inmates or worshipers on Sunday morning, they will shepherd the flocks both places because they always see the possibilities on the other side of the door.

"A lot of them in here deserve a second chance," Davis said. "If you can just change one person, you've made a difference."

"I want to be a change agent in the world," Morales said.