The Chaplaincy Program began as an innovative approach to meeting several needs in our community. Chaplains of all faiths work with law enforcement personnel on a professional level by making themselves immediately available as trained and caring professionals who can assist in times of loss, confusion, depression, or grief to people in crisis situations. The Chaplains provide this service not only to the community, but also to all department employees and their families as well.
The Chaplaincy Program is administered by an officer and coordinated by the Office Coordinator. The Chaplain must be ordained or commissioned and must attend the 13-week Citizens’ Academy to join the program.
There are six volunteer Chaplains and two facilitators who participate in the program. They are provided with necessary training and resources in return for hundreds of hours of volunteer service.
The duties of the Police Chaplain may include, but are not limited to:
- Riding along with officers on routine patrol on various shifts.
- Accompanying a police officer to assist with notification of any suicide, death or serious injury.
- Working with police officers to assist in any kind of crisis situation where the presence of a trained chaplain might help.
- Counseling Department members in response to stress or family crisis problems. Any such assistance will be privileged and confidential between the officer and chaplain involved.
- Visiting with sick or injured members of the Department at their home or in the hospital.
- Offering prayers at special occasions such as recruit graduations, award ceremonies and dedications of buildings, etc.
- Serving on review boards and/or other committees.
- Advising the Chief of Police in all matters of a religious nature involving the Police Department and performance of law enforcement duties in the community. Further, Chaplains shall act as liaison with local ministerial associations and on matters pertaining to the moral, spiritual, and religious welfare of police personnel.
- Assisting the Police Department in the performance of appropriate ceremonial functions.
- Providing practical assistance to victims.
- Assisting at suicide incidents.
- Assisting with specialized teams (Crisis Response, Hostage Negotiation, SWAT, etc.) only after the appropriate, specialized training.