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SHERIFF'S CORNER: Chaplaincy Initiative explained

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Happy New Year from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office! I would like to thank everyone who attended the first Community Outreach Day held in Pillager and thank you to Sylvan Town Hall for hosting the event. Look for upcoming locations and dates soon!

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Recently I was asked about the sheriff’s office chaplaincy program, how it is utilized and what services it provides to a person in a crisis situation.

The Cass County Sheriff’s office Chaplaincy Initiative provides networking and collaboration between law enforcement and clergy members in identifying needs and providing advocacy, support and assistance to members of the community and staff, as needed.

The chaplains are here to serve community members in times of crisis situations. They are not intended, nor do they wish, to replace an individual’s clergy person.

The purpose of the Chaplaincy Initiative is:

• To assist Cass County law enforcement and the people of Cass County through a field service ministry.

• To provide guidance, counseling and comfort in times of crisis to the people of Cass County. The chaplain should be able to put people in contact with the appropriate agencies to assist them.

• To provide spiritual guidance and counseling to all members of the Cass County sheriff’s office, both sworn and civilian and their families in time of need.

• To provide the services of a chaplain on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis at the request of the Cass County sheriff’s office or its employees, the chaplain will seek to bring comfort and consolation to persons involved in crisis situations.

• All chaplains serve at the discretion of the Cass County sheriff’s office.

Chaplains assist our deputies at scenes that are often tragic, frequently involving a death or serious injury. A chaplain can be made available to help serve in a spiritual capacity in time of crisis. Chaplains will provide the best care, counsel and comfort they are able to the victims and family members involved in a crisis situation.

They assist contacting the individual’s pastor/congregation when requested and can provide future pastoral support for those who desire it. A chaplain can be used in any time of crisis and/or personal stress situation.

We are very fortunate and I am very proud of our partnership with our local chaplains and they provide a valuable service to our office and the citizens of Cass County.

Our annual Chaplaincy Training will be held on Thursday at St Edwards Catholic Church in Longville. Topics are death notification and victims services. Interested clergy members or law enforcement are invited to attend and can contact Pauline at (218) 547-7308 to register for the free training.

This month, I would also like to announce that the sheriffs office has joined the social media network Facebook. We plan to use this tool to provide information about functions within the sheriffs office and useful information. It will also be used as a media release outlet for news releases and information. Search us on Facebook or go to our web page on the Cass County website and “Like Us.”

If you have specific questions that you would like answered in this column or in person, please feel free to contact me at tom.burch@co.cass.mn.us; or by calling (218) 547-1424 or (800) 450-2677; or by mail on in person at Cass County Sheriff’s Office, 303 Minnesota Ave. W., PO Box No. 1119, Walker MN 56484.

TOM BURCH is the Cass County Sheriff

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