Chaplain Program

A chaplain can be one of the most important members of the Sheriff’s Office. Today, more than ever, law enforcement agencies need religious guidance, counseling and assistance for law enforcement professionals, their families and the communities they serve.

Clergy are trained to fill this need. No one is confronted with more situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens than today’s law enforcement officer. These burdens also affect the officer’s family and other members of his or her department. Law enforcement agencies need specialized guidance, counseling and assistance for their officers, families and communities.

A law enforcement chaplain is a clergyman with interest and specialized training for providing pastoral care in the high-powered and dangerous world of law enforcement. This pastoral care is offered to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, or religion. It is offered without cost or the taint of proselytizing.

The law enforcement chaplain is led in his or her own faith to be available and ready to serve those in need. The chaplain’s ministry provides a source of strength to the law enforcement officers and their families, other department members, the community, and the incarcerated.

The law enforcement officer’s clergy-person or religious advisor in private life, although trained in ministry, is not necessarily abreast of the particular problems and dangers faced by officers.

Chaplains listen and participate in the workplace of law enforcement officers with empathy and experience, advising calmly in the midst of turmoil and danger, and offering assistance when appropriate or requested.

Law enforcement chaplains do the following:

  • Confidentially Counsel law enforcement officers (stress, marital, family, spiritual, social, etc.)
  • Counsel other members of a department
  • Counsel the families of law enforcement officers and other department personnel
  • Visit sick or injured officers and departmental personnel in homes and hospitals
  • Make death notifications
  • Provide assistance to victims
  • Teach officers in areas such as Stress Management, Ethics, Family Life, and Pre-retirement classes and courses
  • Serve as part of a department’s Crisis Response Team
  • Assist at suicide incidents
  • Serve as liaison with other clergy in the community
  • Furnish expert responses to religious questions
  • Offer prayers at special occasions such as recruit graduations, awards ceremonies, and dedication of buildings
  • Serve on review boards, award boards, and other committees


If you are interested in becoming a Chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office please click here to complete an application. Or contact:


Community Relations Division
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office
211 South Oliver
Aztec, NM 87410

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


For additional information, please contact the Community Relations Division at (505) 334-6107.