After reading the previous post regarding the promotion of Chaplain Bill Ashbee, you may be wondering what Chaplain Jim Turner is up to after stepping away as RCMP "E" Division Chaplain Coordinator? As CPCA President, and on behalf of the CPCA Executive, I offer our friend and colleague Jim Turner heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first National Chaplain for the National Police Federation - the association that represents the RCMP. This new role will allow Jim to continue to provide care to frontline officers and support both those brave women and men, as well as having a positive impact on their families. In October 2021, at 75 years young, Jim resigned as the Chaplain Coordination for RCMP "E" Division and accepted this new appointment. I've been blessed to know Jim since 2015 when we met at my first CPCA - ATS in Peterborough and I've been a fan of Jim ever since. As a police officer I enjoy his wit and storytelling (a few fish tales), and as a police chaplain I appreciate the wisdom he has shared with me since 2015. When I think of someone I'd call upon to assist me with an unfamiliar chaplaincy issue, Jim is the first name that comes to my mind. In tribute to Jim, allow me to share some brief details regarding the decades he has served in police chaplaincy.
Jim was first introduced to police chaplaincy on May 23, 1982, when he went for a ride along with a member of the church he was pastoring in Vancouver. It was the Friday of a long weekend, after welfare cheque Wednesday, a full moon and they were in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. The briefing was at 1800 hours, and it was a twelve-hour shift. Jim had no idea for the way that night would change his life. The Department had an official chaplain but that night Jim became the “boots on the ground" go to guy for the Department. From there Jim went on to pastor a church in Airdrie, Alberta, and connected with the RCMP Detachment as their Chaplain for five years; then back to British Columbia to pastor a church in metro Vancouver where Jim was appointed as the Voluntary Chaplain at Richmond, Burnaby, and “E” Division HQ. After five years, Jim resigned from the church and was hired as the first paid chaplain in a Contract Province in the history of the RCMP; this was October of 2000.
Less than two years ago, a call to pray went up to chaplains across Canada as Jim fought to remain on this side of Heaven. Many of us prayed while Chaplain Bill Ashbee faithfully provided daily updates on Jim's condition as reported to him through Jim's daughter. I felt, as many of us did, that the Lord wasn't finished using Jim to bless many more here on this earth. It seems fitting that God would provide something new to His servant Jim as a way of showing him that his work in police chaplaincy is not finished. I believe in celebrating the lives of special people while they are still with us; thus, it is a great honor to write this post commending Jim for his faithfulness to God and for his assignments to "serve those who serve with excellence." We are blessed that you, Jim, maintain a membership with the CPCA and you continue to embrace the chaplains of the CPCA as your family. I may tease you about "fish tales" but truth be told that you have served in the trenches, and have many impactful accounts of selfless acts of love and service which need to be shared as a testimony as to why police chaplaincy exists and needs to persist for generations to come. We love you brother.
I close this post with Jim's words to us which speak of his level of commitment and passion for police chaplaincy and God. "At 75 years of age, I feel the passion and call as strongly as that Friday night in 1982. I have also had the privilege of serving Delta Police Department, Vancouver Police Department and Transit Police. In my new role I will continue to serve Vancouver and Transit Police. The honor of serving for so many years and still have the “fire in my Belly” to continue is due solely to the Grace of God" Jim Turner - National Chaplain for the National Police Federation of Canada.