Overview and Mission
Police Chaplains Ministry
In 1980, the Police Chaplains
Ministry began providing chaplaincy services to the 13,000
officers of the Chicago Police Department, approximately 4,000
retired officers, and their family members. The Ministry was
granted IRS 501(c)(3)standing in 1988. Chaplain services are
provided 24/7, and our mission is simple: to provide pastoral
care and crisis ministry to members of the CPD family.
Pastoral care includes visits to sick and injured officers and family members, counseling and referrals, visiting those imprisoned, end-of-life care and decision-making assistance for those terminally ill, and supporting the survivors of officers killed in the line of duty (of which there were five in 2010). We officiate over Sunday services and police wakes and funerals. In addition, we have hosted numerous seminars on stress management, strengthening marriages, surviving divorce, coping with the death of a child, improving parenting skills, and a support group for female officers. Chaplains with specialized training at the FBI Academy in Quantico also teach at the CPD Training Division to assist officers in dealing with the normal upset that comes from taking a life in the line of duty.
Our proactive approach to chaplaincy involves meeting the troops at roll calls, as well as being present on the street with the officers in their daily realm. By conducting this outreach, we gain “Street Credibility” and are able to better connect with and relate to those whom we serve.
Every year we send high-quality holiday care packages to Chicago Police Officers serving in the Armed Forces overseas. We proudly host a summer luncheon cruise along Chicago’s lakefront as well as a holiday dinner for Gold Star Families: loved ones of Chicago Police officers killed in the line of duty. We also distribute various printed materials that are non-denominational in nature, intended to keep alive in our officers a sense of the worthiness and sacred character of their vocation in law enforcement.
Crisis ministry is an immediate around-the-clock chaplain response to any critical incident involving CPD personnel. This includes officers killed or injured on or off duty, death notifications, response to suicides, and family emergencies (death of a child, family disturbance, house fire, etc.). In addition, the chaplains are trusted by department members and are very often the first contact when an officer is looking for help—especially for counseling or addiction. We meet, sustain, and refer the officer (if needed) to mental health professionals on a daily basis.
We also act as liaisons to the Archdiocese of Chicago when a deceased department member has a child(ren) attending Catholic elementary or high school or a Catholic cemetery grave is desired. In these cases, the Church is extremely generous in its work to ease a family’s financial strain.
A police chaplain can be reached anytime day or night at (773) 550-2369.