Chaplain observes 12th anniversary of Sheriff’s Office Shield a Badge program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Rob Quick
For the Salisbury Post
Deputy Janet Weitbrock is thankful someone in Rowan County was praying for her on March 15 ó and every day since then.
The Rowan County sheriff’s deputy was responding to a call on March 15 when, according a N.C. Highway Patrol report, she lost control of her cruiser at an estimated speed of 75 mph. The cruiser ran off the left side of the road, hit a ditch and culvert and turned on its top, sliding 110 feet.
Emergency workers took Weitbrock to Rowan Regional Medical Center and later to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
She has undergone two surgeries and is still getting physical therapy.
“I believe in the Shield a Badge program and that the power of prayer works!” Weitbrock said recently. “Without prayer and God, I would have never got better.”
The Rev. Michael Taylor, volunteer chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office, organized the Shield a Badge program in May 1995, and each year he tries to recruit more “prayer partners” to adopt local deputies.
“We have close to 400 people already this year,” said Taylor, who is pastor of Phaniels Baptist Church in Rockwell.
He observed the 12th anniversary of the program last week, passing out new Bibles to deputies.
For any deputy interested in participating in the program, Taylor finds one or more people who promise to pray for that officer at least once a day for a full year.
Prayer partners also can adopt more than one deputy.
When a person is enrolled as a prayer partner, he or she gets a card with the officer’s birth date and address. Taylor encourages the partners to send holiday and birthday cards to the officers to remind them of those daily prayers.
“It makes me feel great to know someone took the time to send me a Christmas card that said I have a prayer partner and they were praying for me,” Deputy Carol Cable said recently.
Other contact is discouraged unless the deputy initiates it.
Taylor matches participants with officers, but partners also can request a particular officer.
“You never know what you might face, so it is nice to know you have the Lord on your side,” Capt. John Sifford said. “It’s also comforting to know someone is praying for my welfare.”
Anyone interested in joining the program and becoming a prayer partner should contact Taylor through the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, 232 N. Main St., Salisbury, NC 28144. Or call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-636-1011.
Contact Rob Quick at or 704-797-4245.