The Chaplains assigned to law enforcement provide support by listening and participating in the workplace of law enforcement officers. Using empathy and experience, they advise calmly in the midst of turmoil and danger. They offer assistance when appropriate or when requested.
The clergy person or religious advisor in a law enforcement persons' private life is trained in ministry, but not necessarily abreast of the particular problems and dangers faced by officers. Law Enforcement Chaplains are clergy persons with interest and specialized training. They provide pastoral care in the high-powered and dangerous world of law enforcement. This pastoral care is offered to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, creed or religion. It is offered without cost or the taint of proselytizing.
No one is confronted with more situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens than today's law enforcement officer. These burdens not only can affect the law enforcement officer, but their family and other members of his or her department. Law enforcement agencies need specialized guidance, counseling and assistance for their officers, families and communities.
Chaplains are led in their own faith to be available and ready to serve those in need. The Chaplain's ministry provides a source of strength to the law enforcement officers and their families, other department members, the community, and to a limited extent, the incarcerated.
Law enforcement Chaplains do the following:
- Confidentially counsel law enforcement officers with stress, marital problems, family relations, spiritual guidance, social problems, etc.
- Counsel all members of a department
- Counsel the families of law enforcement officers and other department personnel
- Visit sick or injured officers and department personnel in homes or hospitals
- Make death notifications
- Provide assistance to victims
- Teach officers in areas such as Stress Management, Ethics, Family Life, and Pre-retirement classes and courses
- Serve as part of a department's Crisis Response Team
- Assist at suicide incidents
- Serve as a liaison with other clergy in the community
- Furnish expert responses to religious questions
- Offer prayers at special occasions, such as recruit graduations, award ceremonies and dedications of buildings
- Serve on review boards, award boards and other committees
- Assist with informing and contacting local social agencies for sheriff personnel in need of social services. This may include elderly care, handicap family members or programs for abuse and/or rehabilitation
- Get resources to transients and the homeless at the request of department personnel
- Provide for the spiritual needs of prisoners at the request of Sarpy County Sheriff personnel
The Chaplains are not to be considered as either a liability or a "big brother", but rather a resource and a friendly contact within daily interactions of law enforcement. Chaplains are bound to confidentiality. They can offer an avenue for family and marriage balance, spiritual well-being and internal peace. They can also be a needed asset and ally while interfacing with the public with serious issues and also fatalities.
The law enforcement Chaplains are full members of the International Conference of Police Chaplains (I.C.P.C.) and have received specialized training in crisis counseling, marriage counseling, P.T.S.D. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), substance abuse, and fatal and traumatic incidents. Chaplains have also participated side-by-side with officers during in-service trainings and qualifications, both firearm and tactical. Law enforcement Chaplains have been called to accident and crime scenes across the county to facilitate the needs of the department and crises at hand.
Most of the above information was compiled by the International Conference of Police Chaplains