The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has introduced a program of volunteer chaplains. Under the command of the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU), the Community Chaplaincy will train volunteers who live or work in San Francisco to assist the SFPD and other first responders in supporting victims, their families and friends. Volunteer chaplains, working in Community Response Teams (CRT), will also work on faithful community policing projects at the request of the SFPD, or the community. Volunteers will represent the full diversity of San Francisco have a desire to serve the community, especially after homicides, mass casualty incidents and disasters.
The Community Chaplaincy was created based a review of on best practice standards for first responder chaplains around the United States and will partner with other city agencies and sacred and secular non-governmental organizations to achieve its goals.
As a constitutional chaplaincy, the community chaplaincy will not proselytize and will only provide support in the immediate hours after a crisis. Follow up support will be provided by our partners at SF Suicide Prevention and the Department of Public Health.
Three Types of Chaplains
Police Chaplains support the SFPD Family
Community Chaplains provide 24/7 on-call support that can support members of the community after a death, or other incident when requested by first responders.
Community Response Teams (CRT) are groups working on faithful community policing projects like: helping protests remain nonviolent, supporting communities with historical tension with the police department, providing culturally competent support for vulnerable communities and supporting homeless and marginally housed individuals after a homicide.