Appointment to Post
The law enforcement chaplain may, or may not, be a duly sworn law enforcement officer. Normally, the chaplain is considered a staff member of the department equivalent to ranking officers.
The law enforcement chaplain is, first and foremost, a person of faith, duly ordained and appointed as an approved and experienced denominational representative apart from any police powers the chaplain may have.
The chaplain's responsibility is to assist all law enforcement officers and their families, upon request, in matters within the chaplain's professional realm. The chaplain does not, in any way, interfere with an officer in the performance of duty.
The law enforcement chaplain functions as a staff assistant to the Chief of Police. The chaplain is authorized to visit the district station houses (precincts) and officers of the agency, and have access to all buildings and scenes where the presence of law enforcement officers indicates the requirement or need for the chaplain's services or presence.
Law enforcement chaplains carry proper identification issued by the department and, when on duty, properly identify themselves in a manner becoming the ministry.
Nomination and Appointment:
In some instances, a full-time, salaried law enforcement chaplain is preferred to a part-time volunteer. Working daily within the agency, the law enforcement chaplain will get to know the organizational structure, personnel, and dynamics more intimately.
A volunteer law enforcement chaplaincy program may be established to give a broad spectrum to clergy participation and to provide increased availability of community resources. A program may be the entire law enforcement chaplaincy for an agency, or it may be a supplement to a full-time program.
If law enforcement chaplains function successfully within an agency, it is necessary that they are selected with care, and that consideration be given to the needs of the department or agency. It is advisable for the police agency to utilize the services of local inter-denominational associations or clergy in the selection process.
The chief of police, with division commanders of the agency, officially approves the law enforcement chaplain for a contractual term, to serve as a chaplain or volunteer chaplain, whichever is appropriate, for the department.
Law enforcement chaplains, so approved, are representatives of their denominations but ecumenical in service. Their acceptability as law enforcement chaplains is contingent upon their continuance in good standing within the religious organization they represent.