Delaware News

Introducing a New Police Chaplain – Wilmington News Journal

WILMINGTON — Tim Blackburn recently became the Wilmington Police Department’s chaplain and appeared publicly at the Wilmington City Council meeting last Thursday.

He told the News Journal he hoped to bring to Wilmington what he had learned from his previous experience as a police chaplain.

He and his wife moved to Wilmington after retiring from ministerial duties at Grace Church in Racine, Wisconsin. They decided to move to be closer to the children and grandchildren who live in the Xenia/Beavercreek area.

“I started working in law enforcement in 1978 when I was a pastor in Apple Valley, Wisconsin. I was involved with their police,” he said. “Then when we moved to suburban Detroit, I helped start a chaplaincy program with their police.”

In 1989, he completed the Detroit Police Academy’s 16-week training program.

“They wanted to have a chaplain on the road,” he said. “We were there for the ten-hour days and they wanted us to learn with the cadets. It was so they would know what a police officer is trained to do and how to respond to it.

He told the News Journal that while the duties of a police chaplain can vary from department to department, he gave an overview of what they typically do.

“Since this is a new venture for the Wilmington Police Department…it will evolve over time,” he said.

Often what a police chaplain does, according to Blackburn, is be there for officers, first responders and their families when they are dealing with stressful situations.

“Some think that may mean doing obituaries and I’ve done a lot of that in the past. But we’re also here to offer support to the community and the police during these times as well,” he said. said “My goal is not to become their pastor, but to be there and help them connect with their community of faith. There have been times when I have ministered to people who don’t didn’t have a religious community.

If ever there is a crisis, he will come forward to serve and inform individual faith communities of what is happening.

“I let them know if there’s been a crisis in their community and how they can provide ongoing support,” he said.

Another major duty he has is to help those who may have been traumatized at critical times – especially officers, first responders and colleagues. He is there to help defuse, debrief and provide resources to those affected.

“They can come a day or after and we get them to talk about what they’ve been through. Whether they sleep well or not, whether they eat and see how they are doing. We try to make sure they get help when needed and understand when their body is telling them they’re not doing well,” he said.

To emphasize the importance of this work, he told the story of an evidence technician he knew in Detroit.

“He had to deal with a very gruesome murder and had to deal with photographic evidence,” Blackburn said. “He ended up saying he couldn’t take it and quit,” he said.

Blackburn hopes that with his work, officers and first responders will be able to retire physically and mentally healthy and enjoy it.

“Unfortunately, many officers do not retire healthy (mentally or physically). I can’t take the trauma away, but if I can provide them with the tools to deal with the tough times so they can reach retirement, that’s the goal I would have,” Blackburn said.

Tim Blackburn showed up at the Wilmington City Council meeting last Thursday.

Blackburn hopes to help patrollers and the community

Contact John Hamilton at 937-382-2574


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button