In the first part of this article, The Role of a Law Enforcement Chaplain: Part One, I discussed the role that I have served as a member of a chaplain’s team with a law enforcement agency. I want to reiterate that this, and my other articles, is written from my personal perspective as well as my personal experiences; not every chaplain or agency will agree with my perspective or the procedures that were followed within my agency. These are guidelines that you might use to initiate a chaplain’s program, or compare with your agency for self-evaluation. I discussed responses to some specific scenarios in the first part of this article, but now I want to attempt to stay as general as possible with the role of a law enforcement chaplain.
As I have come from a conservative evangelical religious background, I have often felt that it was my responsibility to evangelize the unbelieving souls that I may come into contact with. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not a Bible thumper but I am a Bible believer. I have tried my entire adult life to be a positive example to others. I have often failed miserably, but I still try. I believe this aim is the same for a law enforcement officer. Their aim is to help others in any way they are able. They are not necessarily forcing their laws or beliefs on them, but must if deemed necessary.
Just as with people in general, a law enforcement officer, as well as a law enforcement chaplain, are imperfect people and they will make mistakes. There are on-duty mistakes and off-duty mistakes; some mistakes are bigger than others and some no one else will ever know about. The point is we are all human, so please do not expect a chaplain to be a super human. As a chaplain and a pastor I served a super God, but I was as imperfect and fallible as any person who ever lived.
The goal of a chaplain is not to be impartial. I was not a neutral observer when one of my officers was ambushed and murdered in the line of duty. He was one of my officers and I was hurt. I was angry. I wanted justice. I wanted revenge. I wanted the officer back. I also had to be a part of the comfort and healing team for his family, as well as his brothers and sisters on the force, from the Chief all the way down to the rookie. I was not impartial in this scenario. I was as desperate to find the killer as any sworn member of the force, but I had to perform my duty and the members of the force had to perform their duties.
My role was to be a comforter, but it is difficult when you also feel as though you need to be comforted. It is a tough situation for everyone involved. It is a day when everyone wants and needs to just be with their family, but the rest of the world is still moving even though you feel as though it has stopped.
A chaplain is not to be ‘Switzerland’ between law enforcement and the offender. The chaplain is not the mediator between the department and a victim. The chaplain is in the agency to serve the agency and be an advocate for the men and women of the department. He or she is to be used by the Lord for the betterment of the agency and the community, but they, as always, will stand on the side of right.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
Those are just a few things that could generally describe Bergen Mease. However, more importantly he is a Believer in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. He is a patriot of the United States of America that comes from a US Navy family. He lives with his wife and children, whom they are raising with conservative leanings. He served as a law enforcement officer and more recently as a law enforcement and emergency services Chaplain. His mission is to write about topics that will make everyone think about how they treat others both personally and professionally.