They Put Their Lives on the Line

shervinShervin Lalezary is a reserve deputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His salary is $1 per year. Normally only part-time, Shervin, a native of Tehran, Iran, had been working full-time for four days, due to a crime spree of 50 arson fires.

“The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.” —Psalm 9:16

“You just got the sense that everyone in the city was on edge, rightfully so, because of what was happening,” Shervin said.

In a late-night traffic stop, the 30-year-old real estate attorney by day pulled over Harry Burkhart, a German national, a white male adult with a short ponytail and a receding hairline.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and Reserve Deputy Shervin Lalezary

The deputy shined his spotlight into the van and realized Burkhart matched the description of the arson suspect taken from surveillance cameras where a fire had been set. Two L.A. police officers had also stopped to assist.

They made the arrest and the suspicious fires around Los Angeles stopped. Sheriff Lee Baca called Harry Burkhart “perhaps the most dangerous arsonist in the county that I can recall.”

Shervin’s action put a brief spotlight on the over 800 reserve volunteers who provide over 175,000 hours of service to the sheriff’s department each year. The $1 a year salary doesn’t diminish the dangers these reservists can face.

“That’s a tremendous resource for our department,” the sheriff said. “They’re a huge part of what we do. These are people that really step forward and literally at times put their life on the line for a dollar a year.”

When the public finds out a criminal who threatens their community is off the streets, they do not care if the hero is a $50,000 a year employee or a $1 a year volunteer. They are just grateful the job has been done.

PRINCE OF PEACE, it is so encouraging to know that there are people serving in so many ways to make the world a better place. I pray others will see the great benefits of service and join us.



A daily devotion fromstrength

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