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APD Chaplain Unit growing and expanding services

Chaplains now called out to homicides, crashes and are helping cadets early on
April 26, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department’s Chaplain Unit is growing and expanding its services, providing resources and guidance for department employees and community members in crisis far beyond its previous reach.

The Chaplain Unit which was first created in 1969 has grown from eight volunteers in recent years, to 17 members. In the fall of 2023, APD made a significant push to recruit more chaplains to the department which has allowed the unit to provide expanded services.

APD’s unit is unique from others across the country as the Chaplains accompany officers on unattended death calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now, the Chaplains are being utilized even more as officers are calling them to help with hostile situations at scenes as they have the expertise and training to help mitigate high tensions. They are also being called out to assist on scenes of homicides and crashes involving injuries or fatalities.

A new service that the volunteers are providing is to meet with cadets going through the police academy to let them know early on that they are available as a resource to them to speak with whenever they may need. The Chaplains are each assigned a group of cadets to check up on regularly throughout their class.

“Our Chaplains are there when people are experiencing some of the worst moments in their life,” said Chief Harold Medina. “Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen to, I’m glad our volunteer unit has more than doubled in size and are reaching more members of the department and those in our community during times of need.”

The Chaplains Unit is entirely volunteer based and any money raised goes into the Chaplain’s Unit Fund which is a 501c3. The funds are primarily raised through the annual NM Law Enforcement Memorial Bike Ride, a 100 K century ride to Santa Fe.

The fund assists with any needs that arise for those that the Chaplain’s assist, whether it’s for medical needs, mortgagees, funerals and any other unexpected expenses.

For more information on the Chaplain Unit, visit this page.