WEST PALM BEACH – As the demand for services increases, the Chaplaincy Unit of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is calling on the community of retired clergy.
Because 95 percent of current chaplains are full-time working clergy they fulfill their volunteer requirements in the late afternoon and evening. Retired clergy are needed to help provide “a ministry of presence” to daytime shift officers.
The PBSO chaplaincy is non-denominational in its service. Chaplains love their service, said Unit Manager Bill Gralnick, because it is “pure ministry — no building funds, no boards and committees, only people who are in need of spiritual comfort.”
All PBSO chaplains are volunteers required to give eight contact hours a month, be on call on a rotating basis, attend as many monthly meetings as possible and three quarterly training sessions. They must be ordained and/or have attended a certified seminary or religious institution of higher learning.
They must be able to pass a background check and know in advance that when on call or riding along they will see the same things the officers see — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Chaplains are assigned to a district and/or a special unit.
Their presence amongst the officers builds trust and creates a bond that can be strong: Some officers have requested chaplains to do life cycle events for their families.
Those wishing to apply or seek more information should contact Bill Gralnick at Gralnickw@pbso.org