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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended January 19, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 16Jan01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Man One of Many Garden Grove Police Chaplains

GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA -- The city of Garden Grove, California has made a point of recruiting police chaplains from a variety of religions, and in the process has created a cutting-edge program, with 10 volunteer chaplains from a variety of faiths, including LDS, Muslim, Buddist, Jewish and several other denominations.

LDS Chaplain Steve LaFond says that the job isn't easy, and often requires the chaplain to get police officers to talk about what they see instead of bottling it up. "We have a lot of young officers," says LaFond, "and they see a lot of things. They're supposed to be real macho, but no one's that tough. I don't care who you are, when you see a SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] baby, it affects you. They won't ever go to a psychologist, but they'll spill their heart and soul to a man or woman of the cloth."

The chaplains ride along with police officers, wearing a nondescript uniform of black jeans, black shirt, black jacket and baseball cap, along with body armor to protect them. They serve on an on-call basis, 24-hours-a-day and are instructed to avoid proselyting or anything that would indicate a particular denomination. The position is increasingly popular with police departments, and an association, the International Conference of Police Chaplains reports that it has added 100 chaplains to its role each year for the past twelve years, nearly doubling its membership to 2,500 in nine countries.


Police Chaplain Program Is Keeping Many Faiths
Los Angeles Times 16Jan01 P2
By William Lobdell: Times Staff Writer
Religion: Garden Grove fields a highly diverse group, including a Buddhist and Muslim.

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