The other day Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, not too far from the parish here in Western North Carolina, sponsored a day in their facilities for the International Conference of Police Chaplains, of which I am a member. There were some refresher courses offered, five hours worth, almost non-stop. Really good. Lots of good guys there. There was a chance for some networking. I met a Catholic Deacon, also a chaplain, stationed not all that far away from my own parish. There was a Jewish DOC guy. I sat next to a Presbyterian minister. There were police with three and four decades in law enforcement and are now interested in becoming chaplains.
There was a lot of useful introductory review which I was able to follow and agree with, having done many hundreds if not some thousands of hours of ride-alongs. Well done. Obviously the presentation stemmed from broad experience.
We then moved on to death notifications. The “Things not to say” module for death notifications – including death notifications for families of fallen officers – was actually pretty humorous, but necessary, in that you’ll always get the guy who will say something that is likely to get him punched in the nose. Yes, there were a list of platitudes to make sure NOT to say to anyone, ever. Goodness!
After this there was a stress management overview especially helpful in these anti-police times. A myriad of things just to notice but, again, balanced by a great deal of experience, were presented. Great.
This was all so very refreshing, being among the like-minded. Next time we will meet in the brand new conference center of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department.