For many of us serving as police chaplains, the greatest blessings come not from participating in ceremonies or large events, but from moments spent engaged in meaningful relationships established over time with police officers and their families. I’ve heard this sentiment shared from civilian police chaplains across Canada, whom at the end of a phone conversation have said to me, “I’m going to my happy place … I’m visiting the Members at the detachment this afternoon.” As a police officer, serving my peers as their chaplain is no less meaningful, especially when connecting with those officers who trust me to walk alongside them as do life together.
Yesterday afternoon I was blessed to spend some time with Ryan and PSD Karma, and to take some photographs to celebrate a special occasion. Ryan has just retired PSD Karma from active K-9 duties after many years of successful tracks, foot pursuits, offender arrests, and drug seizures. PSD Karma performed admirably in the most adverse conditions, but the honor and credit goes to her handler BPS Constable Ryan Friesen. Ryan is one of the officers I have had the privilege of walking alongside for years, and whom I pay tribute to not because of his successful track record, but because he is an officer who treats people with respect and dignity regardless of what side of the line they walk. Time shared with men and women who serve with dignity like Ryan, make police chaplaincy a gratifying calling. By allowing us a place in their lives, they bring to us a special gift that touches our heart and conveys us to that “happy place.”