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Richmond Police's first chaplain class in 23 years graduates

Richmond Police's first chaplain class in 23 years graduates
Posted at 11:21 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 23:21:18-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond Police Department has reinstated its Chaplin Program to help heal officers and the community grappling with violence.

The program is being brought back for the first time in more than 20 years. The department said it closed back then due to not having enough participation.

However, the interfaith community in Richmond is once again seeing the need and is coming out strong to bring back the program.

RPD said these chaplains will support officers with their health and wellness. They’ll also go out in the community to speak with families after tragedies.

These volunteers will be assigned to different precincts and be on call and officials will call them in when support is needed.

“It’s important now because a lot of different things are going on. A lot of chaos a lot of murders,” said Rev. Naomi Davis of 31st Street Baptist Church in Church Hill.

Davis is part of this new class. She hopes she and her peers can be a listening ear and can provide a place of hope.

The class of 10 has been trained by the department to provide spiritual support, counsel or provide guidance.

“We’re not there to judge or ask a whole lot of questions. We want to be there for you,” she said.

The group graduated from the training on Thursday night. Chief Gerald M. Smith said the program will be a tremendous source of strength for the department.

Rev. Davis and her peers hope they can be one solution to making the community better by showing the community that they care.

The Richmond Police Department is continually looking for interfaith leaders that want to join their program. You can find more information on their website.

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