The International Conference of Police Chaplain’s states that: “No one is confronted with more situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens than today’s law enforcement officer. These burdens also affect the officer’s family and other members of his or her department. Law enforcement agencies need the specialized guidance, counseling, and assistance for their officers, families, and communities.”
“A law enforcement chaplain is a clergyperson with special interest and training for providing pastoral care in the high powered and dangerous world of law enforcement. This pastoral care is offered to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, or religion.”
The Mentor Police Department has initiated a volunteer police chaplaincy program within the department. The program was requested by a member of the department who expressed a need for an outlet for employees and their families when faced with stressful or other difficult situations in the professional or personal lives. Research was done on police chaplains and area departments with successful programs were contacted for their input. Policy was drafted and interest sought from area clergy members. Five subjects were selected to represent the department on this voluntary basis. These men were sworn in at a ceremony conducted on February 17, 2008. Their oath was administered by Mentor Municipal Court Judge John Trebets.
Our Current Mentor Police Chaplains are:
- Rev. Joel Algeri – affiliated with Trinity Baptist Church
- Rev. Stoney Drain – Painesville Baptist Church
- Rev. Donald Knipp – Christian Life Church
- Rev. Brian Landrum – Mentor Baptist Church
- Father Tim Plavac – St. Bede’s Catholic Church
These chaplains strive to establish a relationship with employees through ride-alongs and visits to various divisions of the department; they are members of the department and carry departmental identification and chaplain badges. They are not law enforcement officers, however, and have no arrest powers. Any counseling or other services offered to employees are voluntary and strictly confidential.