Arizona Police Association
Good morning Chaplain…got a minute?
by Levi Bolton Jr -Trustee
Chaplains have been the spiritual companions of soldiers and men at sea dating back as early as 1917 when the first structured group of armed forces chaplains were forged to provide much needed spiritual assistance to the service men of the time. As you may have noticed I said spiritual and not religious. Although chaplains are people of a faith community their principle role then as it is today, is to provide spiritual guidance and support in times of crisis and need. The men and women who serve our communities are members of still another type of armed forces…they are police officers. Regardless of their religious background or by which name they call their God or if they don’t recognize one at all, each require the need for support at times in their careers. Many are unaware that most chaplains have extensive professional counseling backgrounds. I have enlisted the aid of Police Chaplains on many occasions and I could not have believed how significant the impact a chaplain can make upon a scene of utter disaster until Chaplains John South and Larry Derocher of Law Enforcement Ministries responded to New York and stood in rubble of the World Trade Center. Our chaplains tended to the needs of first responders, rescuers, and anyone else who was tasked with sifting through the aftermath of destruction that overwhelmed even those who traditionally are accustomed to seeing the worst that man can inflict upon himself. There may come a time in each of our lives when we too are overwhelmed and perhaps there is a source of comfort that you have either not yet considered or was fearful that reaching out to a chaplain would somehow conflict with your personal spiritual convictions. Chaplains are trained to work and counsel with persons of all faiths and believe it or not, persons of no faith. How you worship and if you worship is your business, providing a comforting ear and presence in times of need… is theirs.