Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

ICPC In Review (Video Included!)

This post is going to be packed full of media, so I hope you can view it on a good computer or smartphone…

Last Week

It has been a week since my last post and I’m chomping at the bit to talk about all that’s gone on. However, for the sake of time (it’s nearly midnight at the time of this writing, and I have to out of the house by 7 a.m.), I will stick to one subject – my trip to the annual training seminar with the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC) in Lexington, KY.

Below is a photo of me and the three other chaplains from our Sheriff’s Office who attended this year’s annual training seminar (ATS).

Myself and Chaplains Rich Payne, Allen Lindon, and Sergio Freeman (who is also a Chaplain with the Air Force and the US Secret Service)

I really didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to go to the ICPC training last week. I had never attended anything like it, but it was being paid for by our Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and was needed for our department to meet certain government credentialing standards, so who was I to say “No”?

What I experienced was an event that was informative, encouraging, and challenging. Even though I have been a police chaplain for 3 years, most of the courses I had to take for my “basic” level of credentialing contained a lot I’d never learned from experience.

What the ICPC does is provide education and instruction to those who want to be or are already chaplains to law enforcement officers and the victims they serve. Police departments cannot pick and choose the faith traditions of those who want to serve as chaplains, and this training is not meant to promote one particular faith, either. The courses of instruction are designed to help the police chaplain do his job, regardless of denomination or faith.

For that matter, as a law enforcement chaplain, it’s not my primary job to promote my faith while performing the duties of the position. However, where I am able, I want to share the light of Christ in a very, very dark world most people never see. I’m very thankful that I got to fellowship with a lot of chaplains last week who were solid Christians and devoted followers of Jesus Christ, even though not all were in my particular denomination.

Below is a list of the 12 mandatory courses I attended over the 5 days of the seminar:

  • Explanation of the basic courses

    Intro to Law Enforcement Chaplaincy

  • Death Notification
  • Stress Management
  • Ceremonies and Events
  • Law Enforcement Family
  • Ethics
  • Confidentiality and Legal Liability
  • Responding to a Crisis
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide
  • Officer Death and Injury
  • Sensitivity and Diversity

I also took another course on how First-Responder Chaplains (which is what police chaplains are) can be used during riot situations, along with attending a larger group session dealing with “implicit bias.”

They Came from Everywhere!

While I walked around the convention center during the conference, I thought it would be cool to collect pictures of department patches. The following photo collection is only a portion of the police (and fire) departments that were represented at this international event. Some chaplains that attended (like myself) didn’t have dress uniforms to wear, so the following photos only tell part of the story.

The Video

In order to give you a little more insight into my week, I made a little video and posted it on YouTube. I hope you will take the time to watch it.

But before you do, I need to clarify a couple of things.

First, as you watch the video clips of the memorial service, it may seem odd that people stood up when the pictures of canine officers were shown, but not when the people were shown. Well, what actually happened was that whenever the officers of a particular state were shown, the people there from that state would stand up and hold up their blue “candle.” However, when the fallen police dogs were shown, they were shown after officers from other countries were shown, so the American Flag came up instead of individual states. That’s why all Americans stood at the same time.

Second, I left a very disturbing statistic out of the video, and I want to share it here. New numbers were released to us as we were at the conference, and those numbers were heartbreaking and sobering: 4 times more police officers die of suicide than those who die in the line of duty.

Did you get that? Besides having the highest divorce rates, police officers take their own lives four times more often than those who die while performing their duty!

If there was no other reason to do what I do, that’s reason enough.

If you want to do something different, why not consider volunteering to be a Police Chaplain where you are? There are risks, but the rewards are well worth it – and those you serve will thank you. #ICPC4cops.org

Click here to visit ICPC’s website.

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ICPC Week In Lexington, KY

This week I’m not writing or posting very much, not even on ProverbialThought.com. The reason is that I am in Lexington, Kentucky, attending the 45th annual training seminar for the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC).

The purpose of this week-long seminar is to provide valuable training for law enforcement chaplains, along with the opportunity to meet and develope friendships with fellow chaplains from across the nation and around the world.

This is the first one of these conferences I’ve attended, and after the second day my brain is a little tired – information overload, as we say. But I do appreciate Sheriff Jim Hammond and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for making this trip possible.

Tomorrow afternoon there will be a memorial service honoring the fallen. Thursday night there will be a more formal banquet. In between all the classes and meetings we try to get some food, meet new friends, compare notes, and work in time to study for Sunday sermons (the last one is me, at least).

I will share more about this conference, some photos, and some things I’ve been learning in another post. But if you’d like, you can go to the following website to learn a little more about the ICPC, police chaplains, etc. There may even be some recent video now posted.

Go to www.icpc4cops.org

In the meantime, hug a cop and say a prayer for him or her and their families.

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Chaplain Baker Writes

Supporting Police

There has been so much hate and violence directed toward our police these days. So much so that recently I felt compelled to do more than just talk about it – I joined up.

No, I am not a policeman, per se, but I have become a police chaplain. Sitting idly by while people condemned the men and women I know who are honorable, self-sacrificing, and brave was no longer an option. More had to be done besides posting memes on Facebook.

One of the things I am expected to do as a chaplain is write for the Roll Call, a newsletter published by our Sheriff’s Office. I was featured in this month’s edition in what is called the Chaplain’s Corner. The text of the article is below, but you can view the original newsletter by clicking HERE or on the picture.

Roll Call snip

On the Verge?

Have you come to the point where you want to give up? Seriously, where are you in your career, your marriage, your friendships, even your faith? Are you tired? Exhausted with all the blood, sweat and tears? Admit it, guys, if life doesn’t wear you down to the point of exhaustion, trying to help those who don’t want to be helped will. There are times when, after all you’ve done, you wonder, “Is it really worth it?”

Yes! Yes it is!

Over nearly 30 years of ministry, and in the last few years, especially, there have been numerous times when I’ve done all I could do to help someone, only to get burned and burnt out. And what’s worse, even when I did everything right, I was the one who got hurt. Believe me, I get where you’re coming from. But so did the Apostle Paul.

Speaking to folks in a place called Galatia (Galatians 6:1- 10), Paul encouraged helping those who’d gotten into trouble. He said they should “do good unto all men…bear one another’s burdens,” etc. But he also said, “Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).

Faint? Did he say faint? Officers of the law certainly do “good,” that’s for sure. They help others, bear burdens, and carry more than their own share of the load. But police officers never faint! Or do they?

The Greek word translated as faint in the Authorized Version of Galatians 6:9 is actually a word which has the idea of being totally spent and wasted away. It’s sort of like if all your strength and emotions were held inside of you, but then “loosed,” like out of jail. Gone…done…spent.

So, yes, there will come a time, when in the process of just doing our jobs, we will feel like quitting, like throwing in the towel just before the buzzer. We will find ourselves with little or no emotional reserve, ready to “faint.” But THAT is the time we should NOT give up! That is the time to lean on others and press on!

Remember, in “due season” we will reap what we sow, so keep plowing ahead; harvest will come.  

– Chaplain Anthony Baker

Do Something

So, what can you do? If you are a pastor, why not consider becoming a police chaplain? There’s always a need.

But if all you can do is write, talk to others, or simply pray…do something! There are bad apples in every bunch, but those who “serve and protect” need to be served and protected, too.

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