On the evening of April 14, 2016, 200+ guests gathered under a gorgeous sunset as Pro Athletes Outreach held the 2nd Annual Increase Awards Gala in San Diego, California. Super Bowl champion quarterback and sports personality, Trent Dilfer, hosted the event, and Grammy-winning artist and producer Aaron Lindsey provided musical entertainment. Pro athletes and community leaders gathered together on this night for the purpose of celebrating the lives of those that are reflecting Christ in their lives, increasing His name in their communities.
Recognition was given to four very selfless honorees for their life’s service; NFL fullback Tyler Clutts presented the Service in Law Enforcement Award to Lieutenant Ernesto Servin of the San Diego Police Department.
“It’s very appropriate that this award is given to someone with the last name, Servin, because this man is serving our community and serving Christ; I’m very honored to be able to give this award to him.
“Lieutenant Servin is responsible for starting Cops for Christ here in San Diego within the police department and law enforcement. He started this ministry in 2011 at the Rock Church as a place for fellowship, accountability, encouragement, and growth in Christ per people in all branches of law enforcement, which we all know right now is as hard of a career to be involved in as any. He’s doing this with grace, bringing others along with him.
“Talking with him, I’m so encouraged by what they’re doing in the San Diego community, not just in the police department but also in the Border Patrol, Harbor Patrol, Highway Patrol—across the board. The men and women of Christ in law enforcement are doing such a great job of holding each other accountable to a higher standard—as followers of Christ, that is what we are called to do.
‘It’s my distinct pleasure to award the 2016 Increase Law Enforcement Award to Lieutenant Ernesto Servin.”
As the attendees offered this man a standing ovation for his selfless service and leadership, Lieutenant Servin joined Tyler on stage to receive his award.
“I’m really humbled to receive this today,” Servin said. “This is like giving a police officer an award for making an arrest because it’s expected of us as followers of Christ to hold each other accountable, to make each other better, and continue to encourage each other in our walk. I don’t know how I got recognized for this but I didn’t do it alone. There are a lot of people in my life that have encouraged and supported me in my walk and in this ministry.”
Lieutenant Ernesto recognized Herb Smith and Brian Barber, retired police officers and chaplains for Cops for Christ. He also acknowledged John Strickland, his brother in Christ and in the law enforcement field. Lastly, he thanked his boss, Rudy Tai, who he said has always supported him while he’s been a police officer and lieutenant serving the community.
Knowing that God had called him to live a life worthy of his name, Lieutenant Ernesto concluded his comments with this story:
“My wife once looked up my Biblical name,” he continued. “My first name is Ernesto, which means ‘earnest,’ and my last name means ‘God’s servant.’ Back then I wasn’t a believer in Christ so I just kind of blew it off, never thinking that it would someday lead to this.
“Proverbs 27:17 talks about ‘Iron sharpening iron just as one man sharpens another,’ and that speaks different things to different people, but to me it speaks about holding each other accountable and giving someone else permission to hold you accountable. That’s something that is very near and dear to me as a police officer and a believer in Christ.”
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” —Proverbs 27:17