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Taking the oath

By Victoria Advocate
Feb. 16, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
Updated Feb. 15, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.

The Bay City Police Department Chaplin Division, a total of 16 church leaders from Matagorda County took the oath of office on Tuesday at Enterprise Baptist Church. They will ride along with officers and provide support, advice and encouragement. A prayer was said at the end of the ceremony for the chaplins.

The Bay City Police Department has 16 new members.

On Tuesday, the Chaplin division took the oath of office at a ceremony held at Enterprise Baptist Church.

“This is something that we have been working on for a few years now,” said Andrew Lewis, Bay City Police Department.

The role of the chaplain's will be to provide support, advice and encouragement to the community and our officers, said Lewis.

“They will be by the officers side to deliver life changing news,” he said. “They will be a great asset to the department.”

Lewis said the police department contacted the local churches in the area and told them what they were looking for.

“When we told them about the program they were very excited,” he said.

The program to be certified consisted of 8 hours of training.

“As chaplain's it will be our duty and our joy and hopefully a lot of fun to serve the officers and the staff of the police department and listen to them,” said Pastor Jared Stillions of St. Peter Lutheran Church.

“It is an honor to be included among the brave and honorable souls who protect us and serve us and strive always to do the right thing,” he added.

The code of professional ethics the chaplain's must abide from include ideals, professional expertise, knowledge and skills, recognition of personal and professional limits, confidentiality and consultation.

“They are design to maintain the highest possible standard of professional ethics, recognizing that all people are created and loved by God,” said Chaplin Joe Ramos as he read the code of ethics to the audience.

Ramos said each Chaplin must recognize that the goal is to enable the person to use their own ethical religious system of beliefs and values, to find meaning and purpose in life, he said.

“Each member of the Chaplin quorum should stride to practice in accordance with this code of ethics,” he said.

Chief Roger Barker gave each Chaplin a certificate and identification cards stating their new role with the police department.

“This has been along time coming,” he said.

Barker thanked the chaplin's for committing to the program.

“The code of ethics meant a lot to me when I read them and I know they are going to mean a lot to you,” he said.

Lewis said they will begin another class and encourages other pastors in the area to contact him.

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