In ‘Cops, Criminals and Christ’ podcast, undercover cop-turned-pastor shares his story

(RNS) — For 12 years, Dale Sutherland spent his mornings at church working as a youth pastor and his afternoons wandering the streets of northwest Washington, D.C., as an undercover narcotics officer, searching for drugs.

Sometimes, his two lifestyles would collide, like when he received calls while at church from drug cartel members and calls from church members while he was buying drugs.

“The drug dealers don’t know you’re at church, and the church people don’t know you’re doing drugs,” said Sutherland, who is now a pastor at City Light Church in Falls Church, Virginia. 

In February, he released the first episode of “Cops, Criminals and Christ,” a podcast in which he shares anecdotes from his past life and how faith guided him during his years of service.

It is also an occasion for him to shed light on what an undercover officer’s life truly looks like. Now a retired officer, Sutherland also dedicates more time to increasing cooperation and trust between police and the people they serve. In 2015, he founded Code3, which works to create “the conditions for cops and communities to work better together.”

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