The purpose of the volunteer police chaplaincy program is twofold. One, to provide more sensitive responses to the public in times of crisis and second, to provide members of the department with any personal assistance they may require. The Volunteer Police Chaplains will be available on a 24-hour basis. Each will have their own call-out day, plus they will cover for each other when another chaplain is unavailable.
The Police Chaplains shall be staffed with as many Chaplains as deemed necessary to effectively accomplish the objectives of the Chaplaincy program.
The Police Chaplains must:
- Be ordained ministers or associate ministers with at least three years of experience who are active in ministry or full-time in a church.
- Never have been convicted of a felony or any criminal offense involving moral turpitude.
- Must have gone through the same screening process that is required for an individual applying to become a police officer.
- Be willing and able to serve the Chaplaincy by being subject to 24-hour call-out when assigned.
- Must be members in the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC), or in the process of becoming a member.
The Police Chaplains should make every effort to be involved in the ride-along program with sworn police officers on duty. It is the express desire of the Chaplains to let the officers know they have someone that will listen to their concerns, who is willing to help, and who is in no way obligated to pass on information that is discussed.
The Police Chaplains shall not attempt to convert, proselytize or bring into their religious affiliation members of the Department, or the general public while they are on duty, unless specific information is requested about the particular faith of the Chaplain.
The chaplains should notify the designated person's home faith when that information is available and when requested to do so.
Any counseling conducted by the Police Chaplains, with either Department members or the public will be held in strict confidence in accordance with state law. Should the Police Chaplain determine he/she can no longer be effective with a particular person, that person may be referred to another Chaplain or agency. Information concerning the individual may only be released to the referred counseling source with permission of the person being counseled.
Call Out of Police Chaplains
The Police Chaplain may be called to assist in:
- The death notification for families in the public and also in the case of the death of a police officer or other department employee;
- Any officer involved in a shooting;
- Serious injury or illness to an officer or immediate family;
- With families or officers in a traumatic incident or crime scene. Chaplains must always follow the lead of the officer in charge and follow proper police procedures.
Other Activities by Chaplains
Getting to know the officers and people we serve is of vital importance. Twice a year the Chaplains sponsor events to help facilitate that endeavor. One event is a two day barbeque. The goal is to get acquainted and speak with as many officers and department employees as possible in an informal setting. The second event is a spring picnic for the officers, their families, and department employees. At this event there are games, demonstrations of police equipment, plenty of food, and lots of fun for everyone.
A Chaplain serves all persons in the department and community regardless of church affiliation, race, economic status, or sexual orientation, including those who have faith and those who do not claim any spiritual belief.