The Isanti County Sheriff's Chaplain Corps is a volunteer group of local clergy, who, with specialized training dispense a valuable service to the citizens of Isanti County. Our chaplains help all law enforcement officers of Isanti County in dealing with victims of traumatic experiences. Sheriff's Chaplains assist law enforcement officers in making death notifications, in comforting family members at a death or injury scene, assisting victims at disaster and/or fire scenes, and provide Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) after major incidents, further helping law enforcement officers, fire fighters, dispatchers, and other rescue personnel with their sometimes extreme job stresses.
HOW AND WHEN DID THIS PROGRAM GET STARTED?
In April of 1994, the Isanti County Ministerial Association met at the Isanti County Law Enforcement Center along with the County Sheriff, several deputies, and other Law Enforcement officers from across Isanti County. We met in order to discuss ways area churches and members of the law enforcement community could work together to promote some of our common interests, such as public safety, positive behavior, and respect for the rights of others as well as for the laws of our land. At that meeting, the possibility of establishing a Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Corps was suggested and received favorable response from both area clergy and members of the law enforcement community.
In July of 1995, the Isanti County Sheriff's Chaplain Corps was officially launched as a part of the Isanti County Sheriff's Office.
WHY DO WE NEED A SHERIFF'S CHAPLAIN CORPS?
An increasing number of cities and counties are recognizing the fact that personal crisis is something that happens all too frequently in people's lives. For that reason, professionals with special training and skills are required to assist and facilitate the specific needs of people during those crisis times.
WHAT DO CHAPLAINS DO?
We offer short term assistance to the general public and to public safety professionals, who experience a crisis from events such as a traffic or other accident, death in the family, family stress, or serious or terminal illness. This includes helping people contact family, friends, or clergyman, dealing with emotional pain due to trauma, or lending assistance in contacting agencies which can help in their particular situation. Sometimes it means just listening and being there for them during a crisis.
WHAT AGENCIES DO CHAPLAINS CURRENTLY ASSIST?
The Sheriff's Chaplains are a unit of the Isanti County Sheriff's Office, but are available to assist with crisis needs of Ambulance, Safety and Rescue, Hospital, Law Enforcement and Fire Departments of Braham, Cambridge, and Isanti.
WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO CHAPLAINS RECEIVE?
All of our past and present Sheriff's Chaplains are Ordained Ministers who have taken a minimum of one quarter of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) or an equivalent. Also, we have monthly training meetings where we receive ongoing training in current Police Chaplaincy issues. In addition, all of our Chaplains are members of the ICPC (International Conference of Police Chaplains), which provides annual Regional (local) and National Training Conferences as well as several levels of certification.
HOW IS THE PROGRAM FUNDED?
Initial startup, equipment and training money was provided by the Sheriff's Office, the Isanti County Ministerial Association, the Isanti Lions Club, and other local service organizations. Currently the Sheriff's Office supplies our pagers and pays for some training. Radios were provided in part by the Emergency Services Council. Since Chaplains are volunteers, we receive no salary for our Chaplain duties. Contributions from organizations or private citizens are always welcome to finance our ongoing equipment and training needs.