More Insite From Chaplain Bill

In the early part of 2007. a Norwich Bulletin front page article stated, “Plainfield tops area in killings.” The recent brutal stabbing death of a 45year old woman was, the town’s eighth homicide since 2001. The article brought out the fact that even though surrounding towns and cities have larger populations. Plainfield had the highest rate of murderers in that time frame. Not included in the article, but just as shocking is that there have been 12 confirmed suicides in Plainfield in the same time frame. Someone asked me “What is it about Plainfield?”,

We live in a world filled with sin, and Plainfield is not alone. The Bible says that where evil abounds, God’s grace does much more abound. God knew what was coming. Eight years ago, He called me to organize and train groups of pastors, to work with the police department. I am acutely aware of not only the crime in Plainfield but also the devastating effect it has and is having upon this community and their police officers.

The Plainfield Police Chaplains Corps exists to provide spiritual guidance and real time assistance to the Plainfield community. They are available in crisis situations where police officers have become involved. Often the officers and citizens themselves have requested such help. The chaplains are there to support all personnel of the Plainfield Police Department, both sworn, civilian, and their families in those times of need.

Each chaplain typically serves four 24 hour duty days twice a month, during which he/she goes about their normal business but are on call, They make themselves available to the department with crisis intervention, a listening ear, or a glass of cold water. Though we have all the trappings that clearly identify us as chaplains for the Plainfield Police Department, the chaplains serve without pay as an extension of their primary ministries in the town of Plainfield, and as partners with the police officers to the citizens of this town.

You may have not heard much about the Chaplain Corps, since the bulk of our ministry is behind the scenes, out of the headlines and in human hearts. It’s inside the mill houses, on front porches and sidewalks, in hospital rooms, in the E.R, in funeral homes, cemeteries, and even in jail cells. It’s our privilege to bring the presence, power, love and peace of the Living God to bear upon situations where often those realities would not otherwise be experienced.

It’s because the whole world is affected by this sin nature Shield of Faith Ministries was established, first as an outreach of Church of the living God of Central Village, to help raise up and equip pastors with the knowledge required to effectively serve their own cities and towns as police chaplains.

Because of the great need, we have since, turned our church facilities over to Youth Challenge of Connecticut. Now we are focusing all of our attention to the Police Chaplaincy enabling Chaplains throughout Connecticut. In so doing, doors have opened up and God has used Pastor Bill Hinckley in New Orleans, after hurricane Katrina, in West Warwick after the Station night club fire, and in New York city after 9-11, His other travels have included Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Toronto, Canada, Kiev, Ukraine, and many states in Brazil. Every where God has sent chaplain Bill he has found police officers, firemen, EMT’s, EMS’s and civilians that are open and hungry for Christ and what He has to offer God is being seen and His Spirit is touching lives,

What is exciting for me is that whether in Norwich, Willimantic, Norwalk, Plainfield, Putnam, Newtown, Coventry, Clinton, or many other cities I’ve had the pleasure of helping, God continues to work even though I may not personally be there. I know when there is a need for restoration, healing and the compassion of Christ, after or during a police involved incident. More than likely, some one we have trained is there for that victim, the officer, the witnesses, and for each other.

As chaplains, we serve the police personnel, who are also there to serve and protect. Their wounds are often unseen, as they deal with the stress and emotions of dealing with crime and tragedy on a regular basis. Our Chaplains are like the Good Samaritan, who doesn’t walk by on the other side of the road. They are there to patch-up the wounds, pour on the oil, and minister the love of Jesus to those in need, both officer and civilian alike.

An officer once told me Television, Movies and the media, have set an unattainable view of who a police officer needs to be by actually dehumanizing those men and women who ware the badge, they are expected to have no emotion, be self sufficient, the badest dude, know what the law says, quote it chapter and verse, and be able to make split second decisions with pin point accuracy just by walking into a situation.

It is bad enough that the media, society, and our peers, will expect them to attain this, picture of who a cop is. But the officer themselves expect to attain these unattainable qualities in of ourselves they can’t, therein is the problem.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

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