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Community Chaplaincy Program

Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento (LECS) was incorporated in 1977 and trains chaplains to serve as first responders to victims. Its roster of emergency responders includes about 90 trained and credentialed volunteer chaplains. Of those 90, about 20 are licensed or ordained chaplains who serve law enforcement employees, and about 70 chaplains who serve the community at large. LECS has long-standing relationships with 14 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and responds to homicides or suspicious deaths; assaults; barricaded subjects with or without hostages; kidnappings; alcohol-related collisions; rapes; child, spouse, or elder abuse; and other incidents. In addition to providing a comforting presence, chaplains may also help victims deal with stressful situations; provide information and resources; arrange for emergency food, clothing, transportation, or shelter; and refer victims to a broad network of public and private agencies.

To accomplish the program's goals, its staff plan to modify and expand an existing LECS curriculum to include guidance on responding to incidents of mass violence. Topics covered in the training curriculum include an overview of the grief process, confidentiality, appropriate responses to victims and survivors, death notification, working with children and adolescents, working with the elderly and disabled, working with diverse cultures, responding to large-scale incidents, secondary trauma, and self-care for responders. They will then pilot test the revised curriculum on volunteer chaplains in other sites and work with those sites to establish community chaplaincy programs. For more information, visit the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento Web site.

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