GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police officers are sometimes considered heroes when tragedies happen but other heroes don’t wear a badge.
Some may wear a clerical collar.
Police chaplains are a vital part of a police department and the Gwinnett County Police Department says they need more.
They are currently accepting applications from people interested in serving Gwinnett County’s residents as a volunteer police chaplain.
“We deal with a lot of crises and difficult situations that people may be in so we bring in a chaplain that helps a person who may be dealing with the death of a loved one or some other kind of incident that may have occurred,” said Sgt. Jennifer Richter.
Richter told 11Alive that there are currently nine chaplains but the department needs at least 14 to be operating at full capacity.
The Reverend Canon Elizabeth Hendrick has been a chaplain with Gwinnett County, and she says serving in this role is a great honor.
“I have a deep respect for the men and women in law enforcement. Their work is often difficult and anything we, as chaplains, can do to help them is a privilege,” she said.
The nine police chaplains that currently work with Gwinnett PD come from various denominations and backgrounds. Hendrick said they work as a team to comfort families in traumatic situations and provide support to police officers.
“You never know when the call will come. It could come at 11 p.m. or 3 a.m.,” Hendrick added.
Gwinnett County Police officials said they are looking for chaplains of all religious backgrounds to accommodate the county’s diverse community.
Potential chaplains must be ordained members of their religious organization for at least two years before starting and must have engaged in ministry as their principal vocation for at least two years.
Individuals interested in the position may apply on the Gwinnett County website.
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