Law enforcement has been around for centuries, as long as the need for ‘keeping the law’ has existed. But who cares for the officers who ‘serve and protect’ society? Police chaplains are called to ‘serve and protect’ emotionally and spiritually officers who ‘protect and serve’ the
community physically. The real question being address is how the spiritual care of a chaplain program positively impacts law enforcement agencies’ overall health, well being, and ability to be more effective in their jobs? Can police chaplains help alleviate the stress and demands that the officers endure?
This issue is addressed by using the TV show 24’s hero Jack Bauer as a prototype police officer. By observing Jack’s life and the demands of the job one will begin to understand the day-to-day life and demands of a law enforcement officer. Alhambra Police Department, as well
as the broader Los Angeles region, has been used as the context for study and observation. The goal is to understand what a hero looks like and goes through on the job as well as the call and heart of a police chaplain. This project observes the Alhambra PD’s chaplain program as well as the Area-C Chaplain Partnership to see how collaboration strengthens the work of the chaplain, not just for the benefit of the officer but for the community-at-large.
Through this endeavor I have learned that police chaplains indeed impact positively law enforcement officer’s lives and their ability to handle the stresses of the job. The strength of a police chaplain lies in their presence and ability to listen. The peace that a chaplain’s presence
brings helps to alleviate the stress for the officer. When officers have opportunities to express and unload their stress with a police chaplain, they are able to move forward with the next challenge and demand of the work. The work of the chaplains benefits the officer and
community via collaboration and partnership. When chaplains do their work of representing God’s presence, love and peace in a place, hope is made more tangible.