While I was serving as pastor in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis during the 1980’s, North Memorial Hospital invited local pastors to join a new program called “The Emergency Chaplain Corp.” This was to be made up with local pastors who would spend a night at the hospital, filling in for hospital chaplains who would be able to go home at night.
Requests for chaplains can come at various times of day; with a number of them coming between midnight and 6 am…
Occasionally, a police call requesting a chaplain would come to the hospital; as hospital dispatchers were being used at that time to field police calls. Some years later, when the hospital program ended, local police departments began using their own dispatchers when requesting a chaplain. The Brooklyn Park Police Department began contacting local pastors to see if they would serve as police chaplains. Living in Brooklyn Park, and having had some experience with limited police calls, I decided to join the local program, and I have now served in this capacity for 25 years.
Requests for chaplains can come at various times of day; with a number of them coming between midnight and 6 am.
families are facing death for the first time; they do not know what to do in processing the experience
I have had opportunities to have extended visits with family members after the initial call; in some cases having been asked to conduct a funeral service for the deceased person.
…at this time that many are open to the gospel message of love and hope
Working with police officers has also been enjoyable. As I serve alongside them, I try taking every opportunity to encourage them and thank them for their service to our communities.
defiance against authority growing, police officers need our support and prayers
From serving as a police chaplain I have gained a new appreciation for police officers who are dedicated to protecting our communities. While their professionalism is evident, they are just people just like me. I need to support them in any way I can. Most importantly, I have an opportunity to minister the love of God to them. I encourage all believers to support their local police force. I often remind our officers that they are “Ministers of God.” (Romans 13:4) That usually gets a laugh out of them!
Pastor Bruce Talso serves as Pastor of the Wyanett Evangelical Free Church in Princeton. Pastor Bruce is involved in several other ministries in the Twin Cities, including as the Police Chaplain for the Brooklyn Park / Champlin Police Departments. He serves along with four other pastors in the community who are available on a monthly ‘call-out’ rotation. Bruce has been serving in this capacity for the past 25 years.