The Chaplains formed five years ago when then District Attorney G. Michael Green recognized the need to provide immediate emotional support to families being notified of a sudden death.
In practice, when a family is informed of a sudden death by a Police Officer, the Officer has an urgent need to secure information to immediately continue the investigation. That haste often leads to the family being left alone to deal with the tragic situation as the Officer follows up in the investigation.
The Chaplains can fill the void by accompanying the Police on death notifications and being able to stay with the person or family until additional community support can arrive.
From that initial task, the Chaplains have expanded their mission to include being a neutral presence when Community Violence is expected, to being there to support first responders who are coping with stress and to be liaisons between police and the public during turbulent times.
I was very grateful when the Chaplains recognized my efforts in shaping the groups mission, identifying financial resources to grow the Team and in facilitating the growth of the Chaplains core to include many different faiths.
Adding faith based resources to your emergency operations plan is a responsible and ethical way to deal with sudden loss and turbulent situations. Having a trained and trusted group to turn to in an instant takes not only planning, it takes leadership.