"With the many challenges facing law enforcement in today’s modern world, both personally and professionally, having a dedicated Police Chaplain is a necessity. The words of encouragement, the calm voice of reason, and the confidentiality, provides our members with a resource they know they can trust and count upon, if and when needed."
Chief Dean LaGrange
Camrose Police Service
"Since the early 1990s, the Brandon Police Service (BPS) has had a chaplaincy program making use of supports from the community. Since January of 2015, BPS transitioned to a serving police officer fulfilling this roll and have been blessed with Bruce Ewanyshyn as our Police Chaplain. Our Chaplain is able to provide spiritual care to our employees and their families upon request and also fills a roll on our Employee Wellness Team. I am extremely proud to have chaplaincy services available to our employees and know that Chaplain Ewanyshyn places the highest priority on serving those who serve with excellence."
"Constable/Chaplain Ewanyshyn is the first BPS sworn member in our history of over 138 years to serve in this roll. Drawing on his 30 years of Policing experience, Chaplain Ewanyshyn brings an experiential understanding of police work and the demands of the profession that he can draw upon in times of need. He has built trust and internal relationships that allow him to be a safe, respected and confidential colleague with all employees who seek spiritual guidance."
Chief Wayne Balcaen
Brandon Police Service
"Since being posted to St. Stephen Detachment 5 years ago, I have been witness to the positive impact that Chaplain Marion Jamer has been not only in the St. Stephen Detachment, but all those in the Regional Service Commission. Marion comes into the detachment multiple times each week and has built close knit relationships with many of the officers in St. Stephen. Marion is no longer considered an outside partner, she has become part of the team. Marion has been counted on to be part of our Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and provide aftercare following the debriefing process."
"Marion also meets with and provides assistance to members that have struggles in their lives outside of the work environment. Marion’s presence at our detachment has brought great value to all members, keeping morale positive, being an impartial caring member of the team to talk to, and in general brings peace to those that need it. I see great value in the Chaplaincy program daily and encourage all managers to find a local Chaplain and make them part of your team!"
Sergeant Peter Stubbs
RCMP "J" Division
Fredericton, New Brunswick
“Our Chaplains Program has proven to be a critical component of employee mental health and wellness. Under the leadership of Chaplain George Madden, we’ve been able to grow in capacity and diversity of faith, providing our employees with an additional resource they can access when they face difficult times. I know first-hand, and I’ve heard from employees and the senior management team, just how important a role the Chaplaincy Program plays in community and connection among our serving and retired employees. I consider the program vital in providing often-needed spiritual and emotional support.”
Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki
Commanding Officer Alberta RCMP
"Policing is an unpredictable, complex and sometimes dangerous profession that depends on public trust and support. There isn’t a one size fits all recipe to provide support to individual officers. The Police Chaplaincy Program is an integral part of a wholistic approach to resiliency and coping strategies for officers who are dealing with cumulative stressors in both their professional and personal lives. Police Chaplains use innovative ways to build trust within the police service and open those informal lines of communication that creates a risk free environment for officers to talk about their lived experiences. Listening, validation and reassurance are the cornerstones of the support provided by police chaplains and for that commitment our officers are truly grateful."
"The general public sees the formal, ceremonial function of the chaplain but it is the behind the scenes activities and the consistency of being there for the members where the true work happens. The last year has been a trying time for police officers as they navigate the operational demands of a pandemic, are subjected to the scrutiny and negativity of the media and endure the calls to defund the police. The ongoing support of the police Chaplain is invaluable to the membership and while not all officers will seek that support for those that do the benefits can be life changing."
Chief Greg Skinner
Stratford Police Services
"The complexities around policing and the increasing public demands create expectations that challenge our members and by connection their families. Providing support is critical not only for their personal well being, but also in allowing them to continue to serve their communities."
"The Chaplaincy program offers that support. Whether it is spiritual or compassion based, having someone to talk to, having someone who will listen, knowing that someone cares, makes a difference. While the title “Chaplain” is meaningful, the true difference is made by the great people involved in the program. The Chaplaincy program has been an absolute critical component of member wellness in K Div."
"I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for George and his amazing team."
Chief Superintendent Trevor Daroux
Southern Alberta District Officer
"The RCMP Chaplain Program touches the lives of all the Members. The chaplains provide an invaluable service, and they are an integral part of the RCMP family. I can always count on my local chaplain to be around, even when people don't really know that they might need her. She checks in regularly and has a keen sense of knowing just when a friendly face might make all the difference in the world to a Member or a whole detachment."
"There is no doubt that having chaplains around has improved the mental wellbeing of the RCMP family. The chaplain is part of the RCMP and thus understands more of what Members go through and might be dealing with. They can be called on to debrief with Members after stressful situations, but even better, they follow up with the Members who have been involved."
"Sometimes it is that follow up and just knowing that someone cares that makes all the difference in the world. I know I'm not the only person who will honestly say that the RCMP Chaplain Program is valuable and essential and has made a difference in my life."
CST. Erin Billingsley
RCMP "J" Division
“The Police Chaplaincy Program provides value by offering officers an established contact with a Chaplain who understands policing issues. A connection is formed and a comfort level is established between the Chaplain and the officers. Personally, I was grateful to have a connection with Chaplain Alkok when a family member died suddenly and unexpectedly while I was out of the country. I knew who I could contact for assistance and was able to make arrangements remotely with Chaplain Alkok to officiate the funeral. It made things less stressful for my family.”
S/Sgt. Elise Higgitt #7661
12 Division ‘E’
Toronto Police Service
"I have been very fortunate in my entire policing career to have had the benefit of the chaplain program from both a personal and professional level in a variety of command positions."
"Unfortunately, many associate chaplaincy with religion which could not be further from the truth. Chaplains are a group of gifted, dedicated and educated individuals who are there to assist in times of need. When I reflect back on the Mayerthorp, Moncton, Fredericton, and numerous other significant events, the chaplains were omnipresent yet rarely seen. Their ability to intercede, advise, connect, and at times intervene, should never be understated."
"Am I a supporter of the Chaplain Program? Without a doubt. In today’s complex policing world, when offered that level of commitment and assistance, we would be ill advised to ignore it."
Chief Roger Brown
Fredericton Police Force
Fredericton, New Brunswick
2021 - 03 - 31
“The policing environment has become more challenging than ever before for all employees in recent years. Having dedicated Chaplains who are so willing to assist employees though professional and personal challenges has had a huge impact. Having support that is trusted, understanding, confidential and non-judgmental is so reassuring."
"Chaplain George Madden and his team have been instrumental in providing a wide range of support for employees that can not truly be measured. I can speak for many to say that our only wish is that we had encouraged the development of the program sooner.”
Superintendent Lynn Young
Employee Management Relations Officer - "K" Division
Royal Canadian Mounted Police / Government of Canada
2021 - 04 - 08
“I am so grateful that we have the strong Chaplain support for our employees in RCMP “K” Division’s Eastern Alberta District at Wood Buffalo Detachment. Fort McMurray has survived the wildfire, flood, and many other stressful operational matters. We are still navigating together through the issues related to policing during the pandemic. Both Robert Parmenter and Phil Sovdi are engaged with our members and employees on a constant basis and I appreciate their professionalism and dedication. Both take the time to listen to our membership and provide support at the times we all need it most. I appreciate the program and all that if offers.”
Superintendent Mark Hancock
OIC Wood Buffalo Detachment
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
2021 - 12 - 01
Police Chaplains Strengthen the Armour. Most of us know first hand how difficult a career in policing can be. The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strain Police Officers experience routinely exceeds the member’s ability to manage. The small cracks, which will inevitably develop in the Officer's armour, permits the entry of hurt, frustration, anger, resentment, and doubt, which negatively impacts the member’s ability to: perform their work, relate to co-workers or maintain a healthy relationship with their family and loved ones.
There is arguably no better person to recognize and understand the challenges our members face, than the Police Chaplain, who is a fellow member that has walked the journey, and is armed with a spiritual conviction and a sincere desire to help. I have witnessed the impact a Police Chaplain can make and value the immense contributions they represent to our members.
I have witnessed countless situations managed by our Chaplains in ways that have allowed our members and Service to find healing and a renewal of hope.
A Police Chaplain within the ranks, equips a Service with a unique person (or group of individuals) who understand the complexities and challenges of police work, providing them the credibility to effectively support members through spiritual hardships. Police Chaplains should form a part of every service’s mental and spiritual health foundation.
Police Chaplains are but one of the many resources available to support front line members, but when used effectively offer invaluable benefits to the member, their family, the Service and the Community.
Inspector - Special Projects
Winnipeg Police Service