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Four local chaplains heading to Knoxville for annual training

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Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:00 pm

So, what is going on in Knoxville, Tenn. this summer that might be of some interest to the Lodi Police Department and the citizens they serve?

Well, it is something very important. Four of our police chaplains will be traveling to Knoxville in July to attend the Annual Training Seminar.

I think it is apropos that our volunteer chaplains are receiving this training in the Volunteer State. As the police liaison to this valuable program, I think it is very important that our chaplains are properly trained and equipped to meet and deal with people in crisis.

Each year the training is hosted by the International Conference of Police Chaplains, an organization with the sole focus of serving all law enforcement chaplains and assisting in developing them through education and support.

Every year, the ATS venue changes to another city and state. You can learn more about ICPC by visiting their Web site at

As I have stated in previous articles, the Lodi Chaplaincy Association is a designated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is completely funded through the donations of faithful supporters. A board of directors and the Chief of Police oversee the program.

One of the training requirements imposed on our chaplains is attaining Basic Certification through ICPC within the first two years of service. This level of training requires the completion of the following 12 core courses of instruction:

  • Stress Management
  • Death Notifications
  • Post-Trauma Syndrome
  • Burnout
  • Confidentiality and Legal Liability
  • Ethics
  • Responding to a Crisis
  • Law Enforcement Family
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide
  • Officer Injury and Death
  • Sensitivity and Diversity.

All of our chaplains maintain membership in ICPC and most continue their education and training after meeting their Basic level requirements to receive more advanced certifications. This is something we highly encourage them to do.

It is very important to the Lodi Police Department that the chaplains who represent our agency are highly skilled professionals who have been adequately trained to deal with crisis that affect both our citizens and our officers. All of our chaplains must meet certain qualifications and must undergo a background process. They also must demonstrate a passion and heart for serving others; we never recruit for this position.

My hope is that you will never find yourself in a situation where you would need their services. However, rest assured that we have a cadre of very qualified individuals to serve those who do need them.

Capt. Gary Benincasa is a member of the Lodi Police Department.

Any comments, questions or advice for Behind the Badge can be e-mailed to Jeanie Biskup at or mailed to Lodi Police Department, 215 W. Elm St., Lodi, CA 95240, phone (209) 333-6864.

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