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Today, more than ever, law enforcement agencies need religious guidance, counseling and assistance to officers, their families, and their communities. No one is confronted with more situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens than a law enforcement officer. The burden also affects the officer’s family. Each day, a law enforcement officer is faced with potentially dangerous situations as they come into contact with the baser elements of society. The officer may have to make split-second decisions that are just and right. Many times, an officer has a need to express his or her frustrations and problems to one who fully understands the circumstances of the law enforcement world. An officer may need to discuss his/her problems with someone who understands what (s)he is up against, yet is detached enough not to be emotionally involved or in a position that might affect the officer’s career. The officer’s own clergyperson or religious advisor, although trained in the ministry, is not necessarily abreast of the particular problems of a law enforcement officer. In such cases, a chaplain could listen with empathy, advise calmly, and offer assistance when such assistance is appropriate.

What law enforcement chaplains do:

  • Counsel members of the law enforcement community, sworn and non-sworn, as well as their families
  • Assists officer with making death notifications
  • Assist at suicide incidents
  • Provide assistance to victims
  • Serve as a member of the Crisis Response Team
  • Instruct officers in areas such as stress management, ethics, family life, and pre-retirement
  • Visit sick and injured officers and departmental personnel at home or at the hospital
  • Provide answers for religious questions (does not proselytize)
  • Offers prayers at special occasions such as recruit graduations, award ceremonies, and dedication of buildings.