By The Way Chaplain, Just What is Your Job?
Written by Ray Fairman   
I thought I might take a few minutes to go over a few things that you might find a chaplain who works in law enforcement circles doing, besides filling up cyberspace with their ranting and raving as you seem to find me so often doing. To get a brief overview of what you might fine any chaplain doing click the read more more

Sworn, Certified, Ordained or Lay?

No matter which,or how many of the above apply to your chaplain, they are around to provide moral, ethical and spiritual guidance and counseling to any and all officers and staff of their sponsoring agency, as well as their families in time of need or crisis. We might be found referring officers or family members to any appropriate support agency(s), including psychological counseling. Sometimes we are there just to lend a confidential ear.

The services of the Chaplains are generally available to those they serve and to victims of crimes and other citizens within our jurisdictions on the basis of need and desire. We are always there to assist, not to replace an individual's personal clergyman.

We can be found visiting sick or injured officers and family members in their homes and in hospitals. Some of us may serve as part of a department's Critical Incident Response Team, Rapid Response or SWAT Team, often having a debriefing responsibility.

In most agencies chaplains will assist in making notification to families of police members who have been injured or killed in the line of duty and in some agencies chaplains are called on to assist officers in making death notifications to the public as well.

We are available to assist the officers we work with at suicide incidents involving police officers or their family members. We can assist if requested at other such scenes that involve the death or injury of children, domestic disputes and domestic battery incidents.

Chaplains attend and participate, when requested and ordained, in the weddings, baptisms, christenings and funerals of active or retired members of the department.

Chaplains are frequently designated to serve as a liaison with other clergy in the community.

We are available to support police officers during major incidents, after officer involved shootings or public functions requiring the presence of a large number of police officers.

Chaplains attend service graduations, promotion activities, award ceremonies, dinners, social events, etc. and often offer invocations and benedictions.

Some chaplains even serve on review boards, award boards, and other committees as determined by the Chief of Police.

Some Chaplains are also called up on to teach In-service Training classes in areas in which they may possess some expertise. All of us are required to attend yearly Chaplaincy In-service Training. Those of us who are also sworn or certified peace officers with arrest powers will also be required to attend our mandated law enforcement In-service Classes including Firearms Qualifications.

We may be found riding along with officers, having a cup of coffee or talking with officers around the station house.

We will gladly furnish the best answers we can to religious questions and of course we will all subscribe to the old police general order that says "including but not limited to all duties listed above."

I hope this helps you get an idea of some of the duties we perform. The list is far from complete since the qualifications of the many chaplains out there are so diverse. I have known chaplains who carry weapons and chaplains who do not, chaplains who are fully ordained and lay chaplains. I know chaplains who arrest and chaplains who abstain from any street involvement. I know chaplains who became cops and deputies, and cops and deputies who retired and became chaplains. A lot depends on what the Chief or Sheriff and their agency want from their chaplain, they set the tone and the SOP's.

At any rate if you need a chaplain, contact one, that is what we are here for, to assist. And, I will assure you if we don't have the answer, we'll get to work on finding one for you.

Got a question or a problem I can help with, just use the contact us tab on the main page.
10-7 for now

Ray Fairman
Chaplain Winterville PD Article Manager module by by George! Software.

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