LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Whenever a crime happens, helping victims and getting information it can make for a busy task for investigators.
That’s why the Columbus Police Department is now searching for community pastors through their “Pastors On Patrol” Program to help those who are affected.
Sometimes, the hardest part of being involved in a tragedy is processing what just happened.
CPD hoped this program will help those victims in times of crisis.
Law enforcement officers often respond to horrific scenes. Sometimes, it can all be overwhelming for the victims.
The Columbus Police Department is learning how to assist them better through the Pastors on Patrol program.
“In a time of crisis, people need spiritual comfort, those who provide the role as police officers need the spiritual comfort as well. In light of all the recent church shootings I thought it’d be proactive to reach out to our community and officers and services,” said Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton.
For decades, Chief Shelton served as the department’s chaplain. Now, he’s ready to give others a chance to step into that role.
“What we’re developing here is a chaplain program. We’re asking for local ministers to come in and help minister to the needs of the community,” said Shelton.
Shelton said people who attend Thursday’s meeting will get the full rundown of becoming a police chaplain.
Topics will cover training, church security, and service duties.
“At this meeting, we’ll discuss active shooter drills for churches. We’re going to talk about how we can have more officer presence at the church for the congregation. Ways that the police department can help and ensure that if something did happen in the midst of crisis we can be there to support them,” said Shelton.
Overall, the chief believed this will promote more community engagement.
“During the time police officers are busy doing what we’re do to protect and serve, there might need to be some emotional and spiritual comfort to the victim of that crime, or that accident. Who better than a man or woman of God that can come in and be on scene and help them out,” said Shelton.
There’s no limit to how many people can join.
Contact the Columbus Police Department for more information.