I am incredibly fortunate to be available 24/7. This is very unusual, because most Chaplains have other responsibilities and limited time to give. But through Paraclete, I can be anywhere at anytime. Here are just a few of the opportunities that a Police Chaplain has:
Drop By’s – Regularly dropping by the different Departments, Stations, and Sub Stations, this is called “Intentional Loitering”. Physical presence is a reminder that people care and willing to invest their time. This is not only for officers but for the invaluable men and women who support our Law Enforcement Agencies, people like dispatchers, who can be just as affected by a “Hot Call” as the officers themselves as they hear the panic in the voices of those calling or the violence that is happening in the background. No Agency can function without support staff and I am honored to serve them as well.
Ride Along’s and Briefings – There is no more special privilege than to spend a 10 hour shift alongside an officer. To see firsthand the ministry of protection they provide and to personally say, Thank you!. Riding an entire shift allows for the opportunity to really get to know each officer, to build trust, to quietly listen and when appropriate and invited, to offer support, counsel, pastoral care, encouragement, and offer a tangible appreciation by simply buying their meal. It is often in these settings that an officer will share some of the things they can’t share in polite company and be receptive to ministry to them.
Call Out’s – Sometimes by the department or most often by an officer who has my number tucked in their pocket for those times when bad news comes, they are injured, suffer the trauma of a critical incident, or simply need a cup of coffee and someone to talk to that understands their world from a spiritual viewpoint.
On Scene Presence – Seeing a Chaplain on a violent, dangerous, stressful, or traumatic scene is a source of comfort. I am there simply to serve, bring a cold bottle of water to a dehydrated officer that has been standing at a traffic accident in 110 degree heat for several hours or support an officer who is compassionately dealing with an individual or family in crisis or facing tragedy.
Pastoral care and Professional Services – While the vast majority of officers have a foundation of faith, most do not have a church home and therefore, they don’t have a resource for Pastoral care and services outside the department. It is an incredible privilege to be their “Pastor” for weddings, funerals, child dedications, baptisms, hospital and hospice calls, marriage counseling or enrichment, Life Coaching, stress management or anything that supports them and their families.