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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Good Cop Files: Extraordinary Sacrifice

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The Good Cop Files: Extraordinary Sacrifice

The Right Choice at a Hard Time

The Hancock family is moving. Their living room is filled with boxes, their possessions are being crated up to be sent ahead to an as-yet unknown destination. The devoutly Catholic family is leaving their Seattle-area home, that much seems certain. But when they join me for an interview early one October morning, they don’t know where they are going to end up.

Jeff Hancock is losing his job. He has worked as a deputy sheriff for the King County Sheriff’s Office in Seattle, Washington, for twenty-four years. His record is exemplary. But he refuses to be injected with a COVID vaccine, and so he will be terminated.

They have ten children, two of whom are studying at university—one at Christendom College, and one at Wyoming Catholic College. The future is, suddenly, up in the air.

 

“This is where the rubber meets the road,” Mrs. Hancock tells me. “This is what living out our faith means, being faithful to Christ regardless of the cost, and even in the midst of hard times. I am really proud of my husband for making the right choice.”

The “right choice” and the “hard time” are, indeed, linked. The reason the Hancocks are hurriedly packing up to move is that the family patriarch, Jeff Hancock, is losing his job. He has worked as a deputy sheriff for the King County Sheriff’s Office in Seattle, Washington, for twenty-four years. His record is exemplary. But he refuses to be injected with a COVID vaccine, and so he will be terminated.

The kinds of people that most organizations in saner times would bend over backwards to keep on board are being eliminated from the ranks.

“We asked for a religious exemption,” Jeff tells me, “but I have been told that even if they accept my religious exemption request, there will not be a reasonable accommodation made for me to keep my job. It is not clear why. I offered to do daily COVID testing and to wear extra PPE, but the answer so far is, ‘No’. I was told by the HR department that weekly and daily testing is too expensive and labor-intensive to track”.

“The King County Sheriff is sending e-mails,” he continues. “We must get vaccinated or be fired. Hundreds of deputies initially refused. Dozens of deputies, it seems, will be terminated.”

Firing the Best of the Best

During our interview, I am struck again, with renewed immediacy, by something that has troubled me since the vaccine firings began earlier this year. Jeff Hancock is a model officer, in the front row of the very best on the job. Of all the men and women that a sheriff or mayor might choose to fire, Jeff Hancock, one would think, would be at the bottom of the list.

The best of the best, those with the most upright moral character and strongest dedication to their calling, are the very ones who are getting pink slips in their lockers at the end of a hard shift.

And yet, police officers like Mr. Hancock, along with firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, airline pilots, and other exemplary citizens who put their lives on the line to serve others—the kinds of people that most organizations in saner times would bend over backwards to keep on board—are being eliminated from the ranks.

The best of the best, those with the most upright moral character and strongest dedication to their calling, are the very ones who are getting pink slips in their lockers at the end of a hard shift.

It would seem that the coordinated attack on police officers over the past several years has taken its toll. Perhaps this is partly why the best public servants are precisely the ones being shown the door.

To give a sense of what things are like on the streets, Mr. Hancock relates a recent encounter. “I stopped by a grocery store while in uniform, and out front there was a family playing music to earn money. I paused to give them a little cash to help them out. Just then, someone yelled at me to leave them alone. Apparently, the assumption was that, as a police officer, I must be trying to intimidate or even harm innocent people.

It is hard to remain hopeful for the future when even the children are being so influenced by the media-driven lie that the police are the enemy.

“At a coffee shop on another occasion,” Mr. Hancock continues, “a woman saw my uniform and was clearly trying to maneuver in line so that we would pass each other as we inched forward to the counter to place our orders. When our paths crossed, she leaned in close and, in a barely audible whisper, said, ‘I support you!’ People are afraid even to express their support for the police in public.

“The vast majority of the community I work in, sees us as an enemy,” Mr. Hancock tells me. “People taunt officers on the street, accuse us of killing minorities.

“A low point for me was when I was working during a BLM rally/march that went through the neighborhood that I have been patrolling for the majority of my career. There were profanity-laced signs ridiculing the police. People were yelling profanities and denouncing the police as being racist.

“The heartbreaking aspect of this for me was that there were no ANTIFA actors, or anyone you would expect this type of behavior from. The rally and march consisted of the homeowners and families of my district, not criminals or gang members. There were mothers pushing their children in strollers while a person on a loudspeaker chanted anti-police slogans laced with profanity.

The irony is that I, and all of my fellow deputies, would give our lives for any of our fellow citizens, and even for those that curse and hate us. Our job is to serve and protect.

“Shortly after that march I had a child of no more than nine years old come up and ask me why I like killing people. It is hard to remain hopeful for the future when even the children are being so influenced by the media-driven lie that the police are the enemy.”

Why the Best Are Leaving

Mr. Hancock’s dedication to his work is apparent. “The irony is that I, and all of my fellow deputies, would give our lives for any of our fellow citizens, and even for those that curse and hate us. Our job is to serve and protect.” He is quick to give credit to his wife for supporting him. “Behind every good cop is a saintly wife,” he says. “The prayers of my wife and family are what keep me going.”

Good cop files Jeff and wifeMr. and Mrs. Jeff Hancock

Why would a man who endures scorn and abuse, but who still risks his life daily to keep his community safe and who has the prayerful support of his wife and children, not just take the vaccine and continue in the work at which he clearly excels?

Mr. Hancock’s moral analysis of the situation puts in stark terms for me just how dedicated so many police officers are to upholding the written, and the higher, law.

“There are three reasons,” he tells me.

We have officers and detectives working on cold-case murders from thirty, forty years ago or more. The innocent children murdered to make this vaccine are no different. They deserve justice, too.

“First, the vaccine is made from the cells of murdered children. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that murder is a mortal sin, and that abortion is murder. The vaccine was made in violation of the Fifth Commandment. Beyond that, the murders of those children were crimes. As a police officer, I will not be party to any crime. We have officers and detectives working on cold-case murders from thirty, forty years ago or more. The innocent children murdered to make this vaccine are no different. They deserve justice, too.”

This is the first I have heard this argument put this way. It instantly clicks. When a man spends his days dealing with the effects of crime, he will, it very much stands to reason, recoil at even the thought of benefiting from crime in any way.

“The second reason is related to the first,” Mr. Hancock continues. “The children who were murdered to make the vaccine were deprived of their property in a second crime. The vaccine is, in that sense, the property of those children. Those are their cells, pieces of their bodies. The continued use of those stolen cell lines is an ongoing incident of theft. I will not be party to the crime of theft, just as I won’t be party to the crime of murder. I took a pledge as a police officer. I must, on my honor, speak up for the victims of crime.”

Catholic moral principles teach that the ends never justify the means.

The third reason is perhaps most compelling.

“Catholic moral principles teach that the ends never justify the means,” Mr. Hancock says. “St. Paul and the Catechism both reaffirm this. No matter how convenient it might be to take the vaccine, convenient in terms of being able to keep a job or enter a building or take a flight, those ends never justify the means which brought the convenience about, namely crimes against children and sins against God.”

“When you consider proportionality, too, and the hierarchy of good, this virus simply does not warrant what went into making the vaccine. It just doesn’t add up.”

“I work on the streets,” Mr. Hancock continues. “There is a thing called street ‘cred’. It’s a rough way of saying that if someone talks the talk, he has to walk the walk, or else he’ll lose respect and credibility in the eyes of others.

“We are active with 40 Days for Life. My wife and children pray in front of a late-term abortion clinic. As a pro-life Catholic, besides offending my Lord, I would lose all street cred, all credibility, if I were to get a vaccine made as a result of murdered children. What would that say about us? What would that say about the Church?”

It is not long into our conversation that it becomes clear that Mr. Hancock is not just a model police officer, but also a model Catholic.

The World without the Church

It is not long into our conversation that it becomes clear that Mr. Hancock is not just a model police officer, but also a model Catholic. He is a convert, from Presbyterianism, and his wife from the Christian Missionary Alliance. Once in the Church their diocesan priest began to say the Latin Mass. This began their journey into Tradition.

“We converted in 2008,” Mr. Hancock tells me. “I remember several years after our conversion watching videos on The Remnant’s YouTube channel with Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara and thinking, ‘This is so great! But should I be listening to this?’

“Then I started reading books by Archbishop Lefebvre, Michael Davies, and Romano Amerio. This led me to dive deep into pre-conciliar and perennial teachings of the Church. I knew, especially from studying the Early Church Fathers and Saints, that what I was hearing and reading was true, and I was convinced that Tradition would eventually prevail.”

The Hancock family now attends a Latin Mass Parish in the greater Tacoma-Seattle area, which they describe as a wonderful parish full of supportive families.

good cop files jeffs kidsHancock children

“I hear so much from the current pontificate about ‘dialogue’ and ‘pastoral accompaniment’ as opposed to the ‘rigidity’ of those attending the Latin Mass. Well, one of the reasons we will never leave the Mass of the Ages and Tradition is that in it, and in its clergy, we find true pastoral accompaniment!” Mrs. Hancock says. “We receive spiritual direction, frequent Confession, strong and faithful homilies, and all the gifts of the Church from our good shepherds.”

But even this haven is under assault. “Twelve other parishioners also appear to be about to lose their jobs over the vaccine mandate,” Mrs. Hancock tells me.

I shudder to think what the Seattle region will become when godly men and women such as the Hancocks and their fellow parishioners are forced out of town.

As I have come to understand by speaking to men and women in blue, they, by and large, are the last good thing going on American streets.

Actually, it is not hard to imagine what will happen to King County when these best of the best are forced out. As I have come to understand by speaking to men and women in blue, they, by and large, are the last good thing going on American streets. When the good cops disappear, social chaos, ruin, and misery take their place.

“I meet people at their lowest moments,” Mr. Hancock tells me. “I see all people as loved by God, and I try to treat them with respect no matter how badly they’ve gone astray. I have spent my life on the streets, among the homeless, drug addicts, the mentally ill. I try my best to put into practice what Christ teaches us in scripture, ‘Whatever you do unto the least of these, you are doing unto Christ.’ A police officer is given the opportunity to do just that: to serve Christ many times a day. And by doing so, with the Grace of God, an officer can possibly give hope and help to those who have none.”

Pushing God Out of the Equation

Mr. Hancock tells me about a woman he once arrested and took to jail.

“I have prayer cards and holy water in my cruiser,” Mr. Hancock says, “and a crucifix hanging from the rearview mirror. I went out to serve an arrest warrant. The woman I arrested was calm and cooperative. No problems.

“Then I placed her in the back of my cruiser and she saw the crucifix on my mirror. She launched into the most obscene tirade of expletives I have ever heard. She said horrendous things about Our Lord—but she would not, and I think could not, say His Name.

Mr. Hancock shares with me that it often feels like the Church does not have the backs of faithful Catholics, just as city hall often doesn’t back up good cops on the streets.

“I called ahead to the jail and asked them to be ready for a difficult booking. But when we got to the jail and she got out of the car, she immediately became calm and cooperative again. The sight of the crucifix had driven her to unleash a torrent of blasphemies.”

“It sounds like demonic possession,” I say.

“Yes,” Mr. Hancock says. “I think so, too.”

It may be for just this reason that the secular authorities are so eager to push out good, godly officers and other public servants. The reminder of God’s presence may be what hidebound secularists are eager to be rid of.

“It seems that Democrat-run states and cities are trying to push God out of the equation,” Mrs. Hancock tells me. “The latest step to achieve this is the termination of people like my husband and others who hold fast and true to their Faith.

“Here in the Seattle area, we are in the middle of a Marxist Socialist revolution,” she continues. “The world is turning upside-down. Police officers are fighting on multiple fronts—on the streets, their own departments, county government, in the community they serve, and in prayer. The whole thing is spiritual warfare. The only way out of the chaos, the only remedy for all the crimes that Jeff deals with on our streets, is God. We all need the Social Kingship of Christ. We all need to turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The only answer is to restore all things in Christ.”

Now, in putting ahead of himself and at the cost of his own livelihood the children murdered to make the vaccine, Mr. Hancock has shown a love for the other which, although truly extraordinary, is also routine among the men and women in blue.

“The Vatican Doesn’t Have Our Backs”

Mr. Hancock shares with me that it often feels like the Church does not have the backs of faithful Catholics, just as city hall often doesn’t back up good cops on the streets.

“I know several Protestants that I work with who I would love to share the Faith with. The problem is that they all immediately point to the current papacy as proof positive that the Catholic Church is not what I tell them it is. It is so frustrating that the current papacy cuts off Protestants who might otherwise become Catholic.”

Mr. Hancock’s Protestant background has given him a command of scripture, and when he came into the Church his further studies helped convince him that Catholicism was the true Faith. But Mr. and Mrs. Hancock’s first RCIA director didn’t seem to agree.

“We had questions about Vatican II,” Mr. Hancock says. “We had questions about the 1986 ecumenical program at Assisi. When I asked about the doctrine of no salvation outside of the Church, I was told, ‘That is what the Church used to think. Since Vatican II we know that every faith will be in heaven.’

“We were told that we were great Protestants and that we should just keep on being so. I was shocked! We were asked not to return to the RCIA meetings as a result of asking these kinds of questions!”

He has attended the funerals of homeless people whom he got to know on his beat. He has stooped down to help the broken and the outcast on the streets, heeding the call of Christ to love others as God loves them.

The Hancocks didn’t give up, thank God. But the Church has gone even farther afield since their conversion.

“We have new questions,” Mrs. Hancock says, “about the Amazon Synod and Pachamama, and about the 2019 Document on Human Fraternity, issued under the name of Pope Francis and the ‘Grand Imam of Al-Azhar’. (https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2019/outside/documents/papa-francesco_20190204_documento-fratellanza-umana.html) Is the Church really saying that God wills the diversity of religions?”

“So many Protestants look at what Rome is doing and stop short,” Mr. Hancock tells me. “The Vatican has called getting the vaccine an ‘act of love’. Faithful Catholics, and many Bible-believing Protestants, know that this is just not true. The irony is that I am being forced by my secular job to choose between good and evil, but not by the Bishop of Rome. So many Catholics are trying to live out their Faith, to apply Church teachings—and the Vatican is telling us that we’re wrong.

“What we get out of the Vatican is Modernism and religious indifference. Protestants who feel called to convert want the Truth, not half-measures and certainly not Pachamama. It seems Rome doesn’t want people to come into the Church.”

An Extraordinary Sacrifice

One of the Hancocks’ daughters, who first reached out to The Remnant to let us know about the situation with her Dad, mentions during the interview that her family’s financial future is made even more uncertain because Mr. Hancock’s retirement benefits won’t start for five more years. Until that time, as of this writing, the family will have no income as soon as he is terminated.

“We have been praying the Surrender Novena,” Mrs. Hancock says. “We are placing all of our trust in God, and we know that He will use what is happening to our family, and all the families suffering in this way, for eternal good. ‘The weapon may be formed, but it won’t prosper’. Thanks be to God, in spite of the way things may look, the battle truly does belong to the Lord—and we know who wins!”

Watch the Latest from RTV:  THE GREAT REJECT: Will Democrats Go Down with the Ship?

 

Our interview winds down. The Hancock family must go back to packing. “We may be headed for Wisconsin,” Mr. Hancock tells me. “But we don’t know yet.”

The family will have to rest as they work, though. They have come down with COVID. “I got it from the person I was training who might replace me,” Mr. Hancock says. “He was fully vaccinated.”

It may be Mr. Hancock’s last act of on-the-job sacrifice. He has attended the funerals of homeless people whom he got to know on his beat. He has stooped down to help the broken and the outcast on the streets, heeding the call of Christ to love others as God loves them. He has spent his adult life putting others ahead of himself.

Now, in putting ahead of himself and at the cost of his own livelihood the children murdered to make the vaccine, Mr. Hancock has shown a love for the other which, although truly extraordinary, is also routine among the men and women in blue.

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Last modified on Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Jason Morgan | Remnant Columnist

Jason Morgan is an assistant professor at Reitaku University in Chiba, Japan, where he teaches language, history, and philosophy. He specializes in Japanese legal history. He’s published four books in Japanese and two book-length Japanese-to-English translations. His work has also appeared at Japan Forward, New Oxford Review, Crisis, Modern Age, University BookmanChronicles, and Clarion Review.