The Maple Shade Police Chaplains responded to 24 activations for this calendar year. Those activations included: 9 deceased persons where a loved one or family member(s) needed comforting, 4 counseling sessions for subjects in need of direction, assistance or a kind ear, 2 death notifications on behalf of other townships who needed assistance making the notification, 7 fire calls including a double fatal fire, 1 juvenile counseling session in support of the School Resource Officer and 1 call out to support the school district students and staff on a school evacuation.
Police Chaplains also performed ceremonial duties at the township council reorganization meeting, banquets and opening ceremonies.
Police Chaplains worked extensively with School Resource Officer Misty Weiss diverting juvenile offenders from the Juvenile Justice System into our Stationhouse Adjustment Program (SHA’s), providing safe locations for community service and providing mentoring/counseling for at risk youth and their families. In 2019, 11 juveniles were diverted away from the Juvenile Justice System thanks to the Chaplains and the recidivism rate of the involved youth was almost non-existent. Additionally, Maple Shade has now joined 3 other towns in forming a Municipal Alliance in the County at the request of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and Juvenile Probation, helping in part to funnel services and support to our families in the township.
Police Chaplains, Maple Shade PD and PBA Local #267 in partnership with our township businesses and community supporters organized the 4th Annual National Night Out Event in August 2019 which was a FREE, family fun event. It was an overwhelming success welcoming thousands to our Main Street area to celebrate the positive attributes that bring us together as a community. The Chaplains also doubled their efforts in holding a food drive in conjunction with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA Local #267) and the “Dunk A Cop” program, where all food donated and all money raised from the dunk tank was immediately used to help stock and supply our Maple Shade Food Bank at a time when the shelves are normally running low. Additionally, the Maple Shade Moose Lodge #2682 also generously donated $500 dollars netting the Food Bank almost $1,300.00 to help support their efforts. We are hard at work planning the fifth event for Tuesday August 4, 2020 (Rain Date: Wednesday August 5, 2020) and expect another tremendous experience for all! Stayed tuned for additional updates at a later time.
Police Chaplains have also worked hard in forming relationships with our first responders and their families. Understanding the challenges a career in public safety brings especially in today’s world, the Chaplains have mentored, counseled and simply listened when it was needed most. They integrated themselves into the operation of the police department to include our training components like active shooter and scenario based training. In addition, Chaplain Greg Ginion, who was certified as a Master Train the Trainer by the FBI National Academy in their Resiliency Program in June 2018, along with the Maple Shade Police Chaplain Corp and the Maple Shade Police Chaplain Association (a 501c(3) – NJ non-profit corporation) partnered with PBA Local #267 and Detective Brian Martino (also a certified FBI Resiliency Trainer) to host quarterly training sessions on Resiliency for our spouses, significant others and family members. This joint effort has been undertaken to ensure the entire family is supported and cared for helping to make certain that our officers can be their very best at work and at home!
In reference to the Burlington County Police Chaplain Association, Chaplain Greg Ginion continues to serve as a board member along with Chief of Police Chris Fletcher, who serves in a liaison role to the association on behalf of the Chaplain Liaison Police Officers in Burlington County. The Association continues to grow and expand in the county under the leadership of President Erik Jarvis and we look forward to what 2020 holds for the Association.
The Police Chaplains would like to sincerely thank all those who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make our program a success and it is our hope to continue to positively impact the lives of those living, working, shopping, traveling through and worshipping in Maple Shade. A special thanks to our board who selflessly and tirelessly give of themselves to support our efforts in making our program such a success! The current MSPCA board consists of: President – Chaplain Vince McDonald, VP – Chief Chris Fletcher, Treasurer – Chaplain Mike Stinsman, Secretary – Chaplain Annemarie Cook, Board Member Ellen McDowell, Esq., Board Member Carol-Anne Peacock, Board Member Mark Tilghman and Board Member Nelson Wiest.