UPDATE: The Maple Shade Police Chaplain Corp which has been in existence since 2015 is currently comprised of 7 Chaplains. The 6 original Chaplains are: Chaplain Vince McDonald, Chaplain Greg Ginion, Chaplain Anne Marie Cook, Chaplain Mike Stinsman, Chaplain Evelyn Galloway and Chaplain Joe Domosh. Recently added into the Chaplain Corp is Chaplain Larry Sernovitz. The Chaplain Corp has several primary functions, first of which is to come along side and care for our police officers and first responders. The Chaplains also work extensively in the community responding to calls for service when needed by the agency for incidents such as death investigations of all kinds, death notifications, large scale fires, serious and fatal crashes just to name a few.
The Chaplains also work with our School Resource Officer, School District and Municipal Board in diverting youth from the Juvenile Justice System by utilizing the Stationhouse Adjustment Program. The Chaplain Corp has been a wonderful addition to our agency and currently have partnered with PBA Local #267 in providing Resiliency training to the spouses, significant others and family members of our officers. Additionally, the Chaplains also partner with Chief Christopher Fletcher in hosting the annual National Night Out event each August which has grown immensely since its inception. The event serves to bring our police and first responders together with our community building bridges and improving communication in our town. We are thankful for their dedication and tireless support of the Maple Shade Police Department and to the community of Maple Shade.
Chief Gary Gubbei and the Maple Shade Police Department are proud to announce the formation of a Police Chaplain Corp. The primary function of the Police Chaplain Corp is to assist the police department in its service to the community, the employees of the police department and the township alike. Chaplains are made up of pastors from local religious organizations within the township and surrounding areas. Chaplain Liaison Officer Captain Chris Fletcher has been working with the local religious leaders since the fall of 2014 in preparation of bringing the program on-line by October 2015.
To become a Chaplain, religious leaders needed to attend 16 hours of educational classes that focus on the Chaplain’s role, duties and responsibilities within the community and within the police department itself. Further, these leaders also attended 16 hours of training focusing on Group Crisis Intervention Training to work with local Police, Fire and EMS personnel following a tragic or devastating event. It allows the Chaplains an opportunity to work with our first responders by providing a format to share their feelings and experiences during these difficult times in a productive way to ensure their well-being both physically and mentally. In addition to this training, Captain Fletcher has conducted extensive training with the Chaplains in all areas of police work culminating with their official swearing in by Mayor Claire Volpe on Thursday September 24, 2015 at 7pm in council chambers.
The following religious leaders are Chaplains with the Maple Shade Police Department: Pastor Vince McDonald, Asst. Pastor Greg Ginion, Deacon Brian Ball (all from Immanuel Baptist Church), Pastor Annemarie Cook (Holy Trinity Lutheran Church), Deacon Mike Stinsman (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) and Rabbi Joe Domosh (Congregation Ner Tamid).
Additionally, Sister Evelyn Galloway (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) also recently joined the Chaplain Program and is a welcome addition to the team. Her years of experience and leadership in service to the community has been an inspiration to the other Chaplains and Sister Evelyn has proven to be an asset to the original group.
In addition to the creation of the Chaplain program with the police department, Captain Fletcher and Chaplain McDonald also set up a non-profit 501c (3) corporation for the Chaplains to utilize in an effort to raise funds for the program without relying on the tax payers for revenue. Chaplain McDonald is the Executive Director of the Maple Shade Police Chaplain’s Association – A NJ Non-Profit Corporation. Pastor McDonald and Captain Fletcher wish to extend their appreciation and gratitude for the support they and the Chaplains have received from the Maple Shade Township Council and all of our Community Partners. This would not have been possible without them!
If you are a local religious leader and would like to inquire about joining the Maple Shade Police Chaplain Corp, please contact Captain Chris Fletcher at #856-779-9610 extension #116. If you would like to support the Chaplain Program and their work with a financial donation, please contact Chaplain Vince McDonald of the Maple Shade Police Chaplain’s Association at #856-779-1807.