Chaplain's Meeting

Col. Melvin Russell and his assistant Matt Stevens called a meeting of all the chaplains in the system.

Get in.  Get out.  Connect.  We are asked to get into the car with the officer and to get out and connect with the community. We are community chaplains, not police chaplains.  We work for the community with the police.

We are expected to get to know our community and the officers.  It is preferred that we ride in the neighborhood where we live or worship.  People in my neighborhood know me.  They might not know my name, nor my church, but they know me.  Some probably know me as "that black pastor at a white church."  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  The bad part is that most of my neighbors would never come to my church because they see it as a white church, but they are proud that "one of us" is a pastor there.

We were given a list of the 10-codes and asked to learn them.  Two years ago one of the codes came over the air and I asked the officer what does that code mean and she told me that it is a private police communications and I am not supposed to know.  The following week I told this to another officer who, after laughing, told me that the information is readily available on the Internet.  You also hear it on TV shows.

They are also working on getting equipment for us.  We were told to go to Quarter Master and get a piece of needed equipment and I did two days later.  This is saying the officer and me 30 minutes or more every time I do a ride-along.  When we ride with the police officers, we can be a tremendous asset to them.  Recently I rode with officers who did not know the area and I was able to give them directions to their next call. 

There will also be more training.  There are trainings that I would like to see for us, especially basic traffic control.  One time I was sitting in a car and traffic was backed up because the police had the streets blocked with their vehicles.  I would had loved to have directed traffic then instead of just sitting in the air.  But we have a very strict policy of safety first.  The police are concerned about the safety of the citizens, chaplains, and fellow officers.
 

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The beautiful walk from the bus to the meeting, about two blocks

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We broke into garoups by districts.

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