Desire for exchange
After I had found faith in Christ in the autumn of 1980 and was working for the community police in Lyss at the time, I often felt alone – as a Christian and a policeman – and wished for an exchange among professional colleagues who were also Christians. I had not been in the police service for very long and the changes that came with the Christian faith demanded answers: Can a Christian be a policeman at all? Can he carry a weapon and even use it if necessary? How do I deal with violence, drugs, juvenile delinquency, etc.?
Advertisement in the Police Officers’ Association Gazette
So I started an advertisement in the then Police Officers’ Association magazine. I don’t remember exactly when that was. My desire for exchange, but also an inner urge (God’s spirit leads) made me go public. This advertisement did not trigger a mass response, but a few colleagues did come forward. They came from Basel, Bern, Solothurn, Aargau… Together we started a first meeting, which was followed by others.
First group meetings
Some of these first meetings took place in Grenchen at the home of the then commander of the Grenchen municipal police, Willy Hug and his wife Hélène. They actively helped to set up the CPA group. Later, we were usually guests at the parish hall of the Ref. church in Grenchen/SO. Willy Hug, who had died in the meantime, invited us there. Another group started at the same time with meetings of police officers in Zurich. The mediator there was a non-police officer: Heiri Minder. Through my advertisement we came into contact. But the groups continued to meet independently in Grenchen and in Zurich.
Singing, praying, reflecting, talking to each other
The meetings were similar: after singing, prayer and a short devotion, we talked about difficulties in our daily work. Some of my problems arose precisely because I had become a Christian and wanted to bring my faith into everyday police life. A few times we also had guests who challenged us on a certain topic, e.g. Pastor Heinz Bähler on the topic of “talking about faith in a relaxed way”.
Coming and going
Every now and then a new colleague came to the meetings, others stopped coming after 2 – 3 times, either because they were transferred or other activities were more important.
… In 1990 I left the police service and then lost contact with former colleagues and the CPA.
When I look at the Chripo newsletter and the CPA website, I am amazed at what great things have come about in the past years – from the humble beginnings 30 years ago. I wish the CPA God’s continued blessing and guidance throughout the world.