Monday, January 20, 2014

A Great Warrior is Layed to Rest (Part 1 of 4)

By Rick Dalton


Jack McLamb has passed away.  11 January 2014 was his last day in this life, and his first day in the next life.  Gerald J. “Jack” Mclamb has been described in various ways by many leaders in the Freedom struggle.  Sheriff Richard Mack, of CSPOA lauded Jack as a longtime mentor and "the original Oathkeeper (see  See that post here

 Pastor Chuck Baldwin calls him “Another Moses”.  His wonderful tribute to Jack can be found here.  
So many people loved and respected Jack McLamb.  This is because he was a man full of love, love for his family, his fellow man, his Savior, his profession as a true peace officer, and his country.  You may ask how I can say that.  It's not from simply reading those tributes of others.  This writer has been blessed to know Jack McLamb in a personal way for over thirty years.  Yes, I am an eye witness to greatness. 

In 1980, with just two years on as a member of the Mesa, Arizona Police Department, I was so excited to be on a team of dedicated people who wanted to serve their community and be peacemakers.  The oath we all took was meaningful to me, and my service style -was going to be just like the words on the doors of every patrol car in the fleet, “To Protect and Serve”.  But I didn’t realize that there was a struggle going on, even back then, to maintain that hallowed philosophy for future generations.                                                                            Jack was a candle in a dark world

The regional police academy in Phoenix was hard and rewarding, and I remember two instructors in particular.  The first, I only remember by his look – tall and thin with curly hair almost in an afro style – and the striking sentence he uttered early in his lecture.  He said distinctly “the Communist/Socialist  conspiracy is alive and well in the United States of America”.  That surprised me.  I'm not surprised any more.

The second was Captain Bennie Click, of Phoenix PD, who later rose to assistant chief, and then chief of the Dallas, Texas  Police Department.  Capt. Click would occasionally accompany us on our seven and a half mile runs, and often gave advice to my class of recruits.  He told us that the most important attributes of a good police officer were character and integrity.  I would soon see those attributes on full display in Jack Mclamb’s professional and personal life.

I first became aware of Jack Mclamb when I turned on a local public affairs television program.  This was in December of 1980.  He was being interviewed about his recently published booklet “A Lawman Speaks for Liberty”.  As you might have noticed, this is the title of the blog you are reading.  I  humbly have borrowed it as a small way to help carry on Jack’s legacy. 
That little tract, eight pages or so in length, was so inspirational and powerful to me, that I had to meet this cop who wrote it.  I called the TV station and demanded to get his address and phone number.  Of course they refused, but they did take my information and gave it to Jack.  When he called I immediately sensed the kindness in his voice.  Here was this imposing figure I had seen on TV with a gentleness that seemed unlike the stereotypical tough-guy police officer.  He invited me to visit him at his home in South Phoenix and I made the trip a day or two later.  As we sat in his living room and talked,  I was impressed by his candor, humility, and direct manner of speaking.  I knew that he meant what he said in the booklet.  After talking a while about the Constitution and the sacred nature of the oath that we took he reminded me about the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.  This is the original one he and I promised to uphold.  It was a sort of oath of office.  The closing statement says:  "I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before to God to my chosen enforcement."  And Jack reminded me that as I left the briefing room each day, and headed out to my beat, God was watching me, and every peace officer.  That is the kind of man he was.

This code of ethics has been changed in today's world, and, as you might have guessed, that part that mentions God has been removed.  Instead of an oath, it's now just a statement of "ethics", and in our modern times, we now have "situational ethics".

After a while, he said, "Rick, come with me.  I want to show you something in the bathroom."  Needless to say I was a little surprised and perplexed, but I got up and followed him.  Once in the bathroom, he pointed to the bathtub, with it's closed shower curtain, and said "check this out", whereupon he slid open the screen, and introduced me to Ally Oop, a 5-foot alligator of the live variety.  Just as I gasped to see such an unlikely scene, the monster gave out a loud hiss and heaved himself halfway out of the tub, water spilling all over the floor.  Jack was standing between me and Ally Oop, I'm sure it was intentional, and pushed him back with a broom handle.  [TO BE CONTINUED]

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