D/S Bryan Irvine, Director of Chaplaincy Services Unit
"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 and follow up when appropriate or requested.
What Does the Sheriff’s Office Chaplain do?
The duties of the Sheriff’s Office Chaplain may include, but are not limited to,
- Riding along with officers on routine patrol on various shifts.
- Assist with notification of any suicide, death or serious injury.
- Working with 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.
- Assist the MCSO Honor Guard to organize the Sheriff's response to ceremonies for Florida officers killed in the line of duty.
- Offering prayers at special occasions such as recruit graduations, award ceremonies and dedications of buildings, etc.
- Serving on boards and/or other committees per the Sheriff’s request.
- Advising the Sheriff in all matters of a religious nature involving the Sheriff’s Agency 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 Sheriff’s Agency in the performance of appropriate ceremonial functions.
- Providing practical assistance to victims.
- Assisting at suicide incidents.
- Assisting with specialized teams when requested (Crisis Response, Hostage Negotiation, SWAT, EOD, etc.) and only after the appropriate, specialized training.
Volunteer Chaplaincy Program
Whatever the need…we’ll be there! Employees often respond to very traumatic calls for help. Sometimes they’re not able to provide all of the assistance the victim requires. At those times when the Sheriff’s Agency Chaplain is on another call or away from the office, a call will be made to one of the agency volunteer chaplains. This program has been established within the agency to provide emotional and spiritual support to its members, employees, and their respective families. The chaplains graciously assist victims and their families with death notifications, stress management, and a number of other services.
Volunteer Chaplains must meet the following criteria:
1. Have minimum of three years of continuous experience in the ministry.
2. Present a letter of support from the sponsoring religious body/denomination.
3. No history of ordination or license revocation.
4. Must be able to respond on a 24-hour basis in the event of an emergency.
5. Possess an Ecclesiastical Certification, Ordained or Licensed as a minister.