In keeping with the City of Ann Arbor’s community engagement philosophy, the Ann Arbor Police Department strives to connect with the community it serves. In order to strengthen its relationship with the people who live, preach and worship in Ann Arbor, the department is accepting applications for its volunteer police chaplaincy program.
“The police chaplaincy program creates a partnership with various faith-based leaders in the community to assist police in providing a higher quality of service to the residents of Ann Arbor, as well as address a growing need for emotional and spiritual care for law enforcement officers,” said Ann Arbor Police Department Community Engagement Officer Doug Martelle.
Martelle continued: The role of a police chaplain is to provide support for officers and civilians alike. Chaplains give appropriate assistance, advice, comfort, counsel and referrals to those in need who request their support. Chaplains are a witness to their faith by doing, caring and loving. When someone asks why a chaplain does what he or she does, the door is opened to share their faith. It is first and foremost a ministry of presence.
The AAPD explained that the program’s goal is to have police and clergy working together during times of crisis or non-crisis incidents, in order for a more comprehensive response to be provided to those in need. These types of incidents may include, but are not limited to: assisting departmental officials in making notifications to families of officers in case of serious injury or death; counseling persons contemplating suicide and assisting officers in dealing with the loved ones of those who have committed suicide; offering prayer at ceremonies and special occasions; serving as an agency representative at community events; answering religious/spiritual questions; and providing support and encouragement for all agency personnel and their families.
In addition to mandatory departmental training and orientation, chaplains are required to ride with officers during a patrol shift. Chaplains are expected to dedicate a minimum of 12 hours of service per month. The 12 hours may be a combination of ride-a-longs with officers, on call availability or meeting with officers at the station, for example. All faiths are encouraged to apply.
Questions may be directed to Officer Doug Martelle at 734.794.6900 ext. 49438, or PoliceChaplain@a2gov.org. The background questionnaire and application forms to participate can be found at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/police/community-engagement/Pages/Chaplains-Program.aspx.