I am Tim Henz and I am proud and honored to be part of the history of Shield a Badge program that my mom and dad, Bernadette and Peter Henz, started. The purpose of this website is to get information out about the program and to provide tips on how to get a program started in your community. My brothers and I were born and raised in Arlington and our family was very active at St. Matthew's Catholic Church. In 1983, I joined the Arlington Police Department and soon after that, I had friends from church telling me that they were praying for me. Mom always said their was power in prayer.
My older brother Peter joined the Cedar Hill Police Department in 1985 and then my youngest brother Pat was hired with the Ft Worth Police Department in 1988. With all three of us in law enforcement, mom kept busy praying for our safety. She had many close friends and prayer groups that were praying for us daily. She felt this would be our "Shield" to help us through the day. Soon mom realized that it was not only us needing prayers, but ALL police officers needed prayers. Thus "Shield a Badge with a Prayer" was started.
The Arlington Police Department accepted the idea with open arms. Then Chief David Kunkle approved the program and with the help from Chaplain Harold Elliott, the names and ID's of officers were given to mom. The list was taken to church and people lined up to participate. As word spread, the local papers began publishing articles and calls came in throughout the city to sign up for an officer. It wasn't long after that when other cities started contacting mom wanting to start a program in their city.
Mom received letters from Savannah PD in Georgia, Clovis, New Mexico, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and event Ontario. The list goes on and on. She also received many letters of thanks for the idea and the use of the name "Shield a Badge with a Prayer". One of the more touching letters came from the mother of another Arlington officer thanking her for having someone else pray for her son.
Mom passed away in September of 1990, just when the program was really spreading throughout the United States. I guess moms job was done on earth. However, my dad kept the program going and continued to receive help from Chaplain Elliott. The Chaplain kept dad very busy because at every conference Chaplain Elliott spoke, he would mention the Shield a Badge program. A few days later, dad would begin receiving phone calls and letters wanting information on getting the program started. Dad always said that he knew when the Chaplain was out speaking. In 2001, dad passed away but the program continues today.
Over the past 25 years, I have had many officers come to me and thank me for the program that mom and dad started. They told me of times that were stressful or things not going well at home, but then they received a card from their prayer sponsor. They always said that this eased the pain and helped them through the crisis.
The program is not just for adults. I recently stopped a car for a traffic violation and while speaking with the driver, the back window rolled down and a seven year old child asked if I knew a certain officer. Thinking the child was a family member or a neighbor, I asked how she knew the officer. The child replied, "I pray for him every day". She said her first grade class adopted the officer for the "Shield a Badge with a Prayer" program.
So now, I am keeping the program going. I am still with the Arlington Police Department and both Peter and Pat continue working with the Ft Worth Police Department. The Arlington Police Department has over 600 officers and I use many churches and groups to recruit prayer sponsors. I want to thank the following churches and groups who have helped sign up prayer sponsors for our officers: St. Matthew's Catholic Church, First Baptist Church of Arlington, First Christian Church, First United Methodist Church of Arlington, St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, St. Barnabas UMC, and the Knights of Columbus Mary Queen of Peace Assembly #2112. There are many more and I wanted to thank all of you who have helped promote the "Shield a Badge" program and continue to pray for the Safety, Good Judgement, and Safe Return Home for all Police Officers.
If you are interested in starting the "Shield a Badge" program in your community or would like to be a prayer sponsor to an Arlington Officer, please contact me at:
Shield a Badge
PO BOX 2126
Arlington, TX 76004
Officer's Pete and Pat Henz
Fort Worth Police Department
Officer Tim Henz
Arlington Police Department