Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Guardian of the Constitution: Officer Jack McLamb

His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His word speaks only truth.

Although this poem describes a Knight of the Old Code in the movie Dragon Heart, it also captures the heroism of a modern-day patriot I once had the privilege of meeting named Jack McLamb.

Officer McLamb is the most highly decorated police officer in the history of the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department. A U.S. Navy and Vietnam War veteran, McLamb was an instructor for the Arizona Regional Police Academy as well as a hostage negotiator for the FBI. He sustained a line-of-duty injury while apprehending a convicted drug smuggler, leading to medical retirement in 1986. Currently, he is president of The American Citizens & Lawmen Association.

Because of his commitment to obey his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, McLamb also has the distinction of being the most fired officer in the history of the Phoenix PD. He ran afoul of his superiors when he began speaking out against immoral and unlawful conduct by government officials, specifically the giving of unconstitutional orders for police officers to follow. As a result, he was fired twice, rehired twice on appeal to the Civil Service Board, and then reprimanded by that board twice (

Much like the superheroes I grew up with, Jack McLamb used his authority as a police officer to protect the weak and defenseless, fighting crime in all its forms—whether on the streets of Phoenix or in the halls of government. In an interview with The WINDS, McLamb laments that as an instructor at the Phoenix Police Academy, he was told to train young officers not to be servants and protectors of the people but to protect and serve the system. “It’s looked at as if there is no higher authority in our society than government, which is god,” McLamb says. “As a result, if your god is your government, then you are trained as a lawman to do everything to protect the system, even from the people if you have to. This is called ‘patriotism.’”

Officer McLamb put his entire career on the line to challenge this mindset. Often he felt completely alone. “It was lonely indeed to be the first to speak out and ask for fellow officers to stand up and say NO to the Officer’s Code of Silence, to unethical, unlawful and unconstitutional orders or activities on the part of our brethren and/or government,” McLamb says (Aid and Abet newsletter,

Yet during those years of severe persecution from his department and from state and federal agencies, McLamb, a devout Christian, says that God sustained him by sending people alongside him to support him, including private citizens and fellow police officers, one of whom “jumped right into the ‘fire’ with me. These few great Americans helped me take to other officers and soldiers a strange and seemingly new (but actually very old) idea, one that had long since been forgotten by many: namely, that police officers and soldiers should know, understand and live strictly by their sworn oath . . . not to the system, but to every one of the sovereign American people: to protect and defend the People and the Constitution, even, if necessary, from an out-of-bounds governmental system.”

Officer McLamb, we salute you.

To read more about Officer Jack McLamb, visit


Blogger Beth said...

Wow, that's amazing! What a hero!

June 28, 2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks for posting, Beth! I hope you'll enjoy meeting the other heroes I will introduce here.

June 29, 2006 8:10 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home