Maple Shade Police Chaplain Activity Summary 2016
There were 20 Police Chaplain Activations for 2016.
85% of those activations dealt with the loss of life (unattended deaths, attended deaths, fatal car crash, death notifications for other towns and suicide).
Remaining 15% of the activations dealt with a house fire, shooting and First Responder care.
Police Chaplains also performed ceremonial duties at the township council reorganization meeting, banquets, county wide Rotary function and local Rotary meetings.
Police Chaplains worked extensively with the School Resource Officer to help divert juvenile offenders from the Juvenile Justice System into our Stationhouse Adjustment program, providing safe locations for community service and providing mentoring/counseling for at risk youth.
Police Chaplains and Maple Shade PD (under the direction of Chief Gary Gubbei) in partnership with our community supporters organized the 1st Annual National Night Out Event in August 2016 which was a free, family fun event. It was an overwhelming success welcoming all to our Main Street area to celebrate the positive attributes that bring us together as a community. The Chaplains also doubled their efforts in holding a food drive in conjunction with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA Local #267) and the Dunk A Cop program, where all food donated and all money raised from the dunk tank was immediately used to help stock and supply our Maple Shade Food Bank at a time when the shelves are normally running low. We are hard at work planning the second event for Tuesday August 1, 2017 and expect to go even bigger and better, so please plan to attend!
Police Chaplains have also worked hard in forming relationships with our first responders and their families. Understanding the challenges a career in public safety brings, the Chaplains have mentored, counseled and simply listened when it was needed most. They integrated themselves into the operation of the police department to include our training components like active shooter and scenario training. As one chaplain stated, they had no idea how much information an officer needed to know and how fast they needed to know it, when making life and death decisions within fractions of a second. It has made them as a Chaplain appreciate the officers of this department even more and understand the impact those tense and often unpredictable life changing decisions can have on an officer and their family.
For 2017, the Police Chaplains are embarking on expanding our role with the police department on working with at risk youth, community outreach, becoming more active in family crisis situations, beginning to lay the foundation for partnering with service organizations addressing the opioid crisis and continuing to expand our training and fellowship with other Police Chaplains throughout the county, making necessary connections and building bridges of hope as we move together as a team.
The Police Chaplains would like to sincerely thank all those who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make our program a success and it is our hope to continue to positively impact the lives of those living, working, shopping, traveling through and worshipping in Maple Shade.
Maple Shade Police Chaplain Corp – The primary function of the Police Chaplain Corp is to assist the police department in its service to the community, the employees of the police department and the township alike. Chaplains are made up of pastors from local religious organizations within the township and surrounding areas. Chaplain Liaison Officer Captain Chris Fletcher has been working with the local religious leaders since the fall of 2014 in preparation of bringing the program on-line by October 2015.
To become a Chaplain, religious leaders needed to attend 16 hours of educational classes that focus on the Chaplain’s role, duties and responsibilities within the community and within the police department itself. Further, these leaders also attended 16 hours of training focusing on Group Crisis Intervention Training to work with local Police, Fire and EMS personnel following a tragic or devastating event. It allows the Chaplains an opportunity to work with our first responders by providing a format to share their feelings and experiences during these difficult times in a productive way to ensure their well-being both physically and mentally.
If you are a local religious leader and would like to inquire about joining the Maple Shade Police Chaplain Corp, please contact Captain Chris Fletcher at #856-779-9610 extension #116. If you would like to support the Chaplain Program and their work with a financial donation, please contact Chaplain Vince McDonald of the Maple Shade Police Chaplain’s Association at #856-779-1807.