Wright City Police Department Chaplin, Rev. Joseph Purl (Wright City Church of the Nazarene)
What is a Police Chaplain?
"No one is confronted with more situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens than today's law enforcement officer. These burdens also affect the officer's family and other members of his or her department. Law enforcement agencies need the specialized guidance, counseling and assistance that Police Chaplains can provide."
From the International Conference of Police Chaplains
A law enforcement chaplain is a clergy person with a passionate interest in, and the specialized training for pastoral care in the 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 proselytizing.
The law enforcement chaplain is led in his or her 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 the incarcerated.
Chaplains listen and participate in the workplace of law enforcement officers with empathy and experience, advising calmly in the midst of turmoil and danger, and offering assistance when appropriate or requested.
What Does a Police Chaplain Do?
The duties of the Police Chaplain may include, but are not limited to,
- Riding along with officers on routine patrol on various shifts.
- Accompanying a police officer to assist with notification of any suicide, death or serious injury.
- Working with police officers to assist in any kind of crisis situation where the presence of a trained chaplain might help.
- Counseling Department members in response to stress or family crisis problems. Any such assistance will be privileged and confidential between the officer and chaplain involved.
- Visiting with sick or injured members of the Department at their home or in the hospital.
- Helping organize Department response to ceremonies for Missouri officers killed in the line of duty.
- Offering prayers at special occasions such as, award ceremonies and dedications of buildings, etc.
- Serving on review boards and/or other committees.
- Advising the Chief of Police in all matters of a religious nature involving the Police Department and performance of law enforcement duties in the community. Further, Chaplains shall act as liaison with local ministerial associations and on matters pertaining to the moral, spiritual, and religious welfare of police personnel.
- Assisting the Police Department in the performance of appropriate ceremonial functions.
- Assisting in the provision of planned, scheduled training to police personnel. Training may include orientation as a new employee, Academy training, roll call training, spouse orientation, etc.
- Providing practical assistance to victims.
- Assisting at suicide incidents.