Fla. PD seeks to boost spiritual counseling for cops

The Tampa Police Department is looking to double its already 15-person strong chaplain program


By Police1 Staff

TAMPA, Fla. — Police in Tampa are looking to bolster their police chaplain program.  

According to Fox 13, the Tampa Police Department is looking to double its already 15-person strong chaplain program as part of a robust mental health division that’s being launched for officers.  

"I believe that a happy police officer is going to equal a happy community," Chief Mary O'Connor told Fox 13. 

Despite the 15-person staff, the chaplaincy program is still in need of new members due to demand. Chaplain Clarence Nathan, who has helped officers for over two decades, believes spiritual counseling is a key component of officer wellness.   

"You try to find out first of all what is going on in their hearts and in their heads," Nathan told Fox 13. "Then try to give them a word of comfort and encouragement."  

The PD hopes to add enough staff to offer a 24/7 prayer hotline for LEOs.  

The move is part of Chief O’Connor’s new development of a mental health division, which also includes plans for implementing expanded peer support, financial wellness programs and offering stress management workshops. 

NEXT: The many benefits of police chaplains

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