Law officers are in a class by themselves. By the very nature of the tasks they perform, and as a matter of routine in the line of duty, they are a breed apart. A tremendous responsibility and burden is inherent in being a law officer. They are expected to be arbitrators of everything imaginable; instant problem solvers; sometimes required to make split second decisions that can mean life or death for themselves and others.
The world view of a law enforcement officer is a circle. Inside the circle are the law enforcement officers – police, sheriffs’ deputies, highway patrol, federal agents, etc. Outside the circle is everyone else including spouse, family, relatives, friends, and other significant persons. The law enforcement Chaplain is partly “in” and partly “out” of that circle. A successful Chaplain must deal effectively with his fellow officers as well as the world outside the police circle.
Our communities must have healthy law enforcement agencies. The greatest resource of any law enforcement agency is its personnel. An effective Chaplaincy program will be a great help to conserve and enhance that resource. Ultimately, the community reaps the benefits of healthy law enforcement personnel and the Chaplain plays a significant role in achieving that goal.