Ride-Alongs Are the Most Vital Part of a Chaplain's Ministry 

Here are some suggestions!

The Chaplain as a Ride-Along Asset

  • To establish a relationship with the officer in the squad car.
  • Must be faithful to the calls as a chaplain.
  • Academy is 26 weeks.
  • Probation can be up to 2 years.
  • After 6 months the officer begins to develop a them and us mentality, a little badge heavy.
  • Officers can develop a bad attitude from bad experiences.
  • Not there to preach to them, but an aid and encourage.
  • We want to be an aid.

The Program

  • The ministry to the officer, how can we be an asset.
  • A Chaplain’s assignment is to become a valuable resource to the department personnel.
  • This is accomplished by ride-along with deputies on duty, and by visitation to the station on regular basis.
  • The Chaplain is required to ride-along one shift per month as a minimum, perhaps a 10 hour shift.

Arranging for a Ride-Along

  • The ride-along should be pre-arranged with the Watch Commander.
  • The ride-along will be the discretion of the Watch Commander.
  • Assignment of police/deputy is at discretion of the Watch Commander.

Things the Chaplain should know:

  • Mindset of an officer.
  • Daily stressors for officers.
  • What is a deputy looking for in a Chaplain.
  • Know the Why for your ministry.
  • Do’s and Don’ts for ride-along.
  • Self-preservation tactics.

Questions to Ask on a Ride Along:

  •  How long have you been a police officer?
  • How did you ever decide to get into this line of work?
  • What do you enjoy best about police work?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where your life was in danger?
  • What is the worst situation you have seen?
  • Are you married and have children?

Mindset of an Officer:

  • Typically a young adult.
  • Very altruistic, looking to improve the world and really make a difference.
  • Marries just before becoming a deputy, or soon thereafter.
  • 60% to 82% of those marriages will end in divorce within first 3 years.

Daily Stressors on a Deputy:

  •  Daily faced with the extremes of life.
  • The negatives of society.
  • Jail has a revolving door. People are put into jail and are out before the report    is done.
  • Limited promotional opportunity.
  • Very stressful-stressed over not passing the tests for promotion.
  • We need to know when the officer taking test.
  • Let the officer blow off steam
  • Terrible media coverage.
  • Fear of someone video taping the officer.
  • Paranoia begins to develop after about 2 years and you begin to isolate yourself from other people except for follow officers.
  • The Us against Them mentality.
  • In Grouping occurs. Choir Practice-going to the bar.
  • Their 35, an affair with fellow officers.
  • Shift work isn’t even for the birds!
  • Shift work – 10 hours shift.
  • A lot of stress on a family – no time to be with family.
  • Cynicism sets in, a combination of all the above.

What Officers Look For in a Chaplain:

  •  A bridge back – a humanizing element
  • Looking for credibility
  • Confidentiality-everything stops here.
  • Professional
  • Presence-need to see your face, be at the station much as possible, give them the idea you are there all the time.
  • Attend their briefing.
  • An Example

Know the “Why” of Your Ministry:

  •  Be there for the right reasons.
  • God has called you to do this.
  • Absolutely no wanna be cops.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Pray for God’s WisdomProv. 3:6
  • Be accountable to someone, perhaps another chaplain.

Do’s and Don’ts for Ride-Along

Don’t:

  • Forget to pray before you go out.
  • Bring any type of weapon
  • Pretend to know the deputy’s job
  • Get out of the vehicle unless instructed to.
  • Give your opinion
  • Talk to the public-point to officer
  • Dominate the conversation
  • Forget to thank the officer-send thank you notes.
  • Forget the issues to add to your prayer list for the officer his/her family.

Do:

  • Remember to pray before going out.
  • Be a Godly example in conduct and speech.
  • Let the deputy bring up Religion – not you.
  • Remember you are a guest – wait to be invited.
  • Be someone who is safe to confide in.
  • Be informed of safety issues it keep from jeopardizing the officer’s safety.
  • Know radio procedures.
  • Learn the 10-code and other codes.
  • Know where you are at all times.
  • Be a positive addition to the team.
  • Anticipate being tested by the deputy.

Self-preservation Tactics:

  • You are your best protection.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open.
  • Always know exactly where you are.
  • Know emergency radio procedures.
  • Always wear body armor.
  • Don’t get in harm’s way.
  • Stay on condition yellow alert.
  • Be the kind of partner that will get you invited back again.
  • Be an asset on that ride-along.

Your duty bag:

Sgt Comforting a Citizen in time of Crisis
Sgt Comforting a Citizen in time of Crisis
  • List of Penal codes.
  • Spanish for Cops.
  • CPR mask.
  • Rubber Gloves: 2 pairs
  • Chap Stick.
  • Sun Block.
  • Sun Glasses.
  • Emergency medications.
  • Tablet to write on.
  • Pen.
  • Penlight flashlight.
  • Book to read.
  • Small religious book
  • Other practices.
  • Death handouts
  • Cash & Change.
  • No Weapons.

What To Wear:

  • Body Armor (two “T” shirts underneath help).
  • Class “A” uniform – Neat, Clean & Pressed.
  • Black “Chaplain jacket” correctly marked.
  • Boots.
  • Belt with:
  1. Flashlight holder.
  2. H T holder.
  3. Rubber gloves & CPR mask.
  4. Pager, if necessary (on vibrate only).
  5. Cell Phone, if necessary (on vibrate only).

What to ask for at station:

  • Is there an extra “H T” that I can take along?
  • Is there a spare set of car keys I can take along?
  • Be sure to “log in” your H T with dispatch before going on duty.

Remember:

Chaplain Bob Keller, Pomona Police Department
Chaplain Bob Keller, Pomona Police Department

EVERYONE COMES BACK ALIVE AT THE END OF THE SHIFT!!

You can learn more about the "Ride Along" program by clicking www.ipministries.org