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Review the qualifications and expectations of community chaplains below.  Then, if you are interested use the box on the right to email us your interest.  If you are interested in applying to join our team and receive free trainings apply using this Cover Sheet and the SFPD Background Check Form.  Send completed information to or mail it to SFPD Community Chaplaincy, 3201 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA 94116.

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Chaplains shall possess the following qualifications:

  • will be willing and able to provide non-discriminatory constitutional chaplaincy services (conversations about faith upon request only, no proselytizing) to people of all or no faith.

  • shall demonstrate a desire and ability to manifest compassion, acceptance, understanding and love of others.

  • may be able to hold the seal of confession by California law.

  • shall exhibit and maintain high spiritual and moral standards.

  • shall follow the ethical standards as set forth by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) and the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC).

  • shall be in agreement with the purpose and philosophy of the SFPD Community Chaplaincy.

  • shall accept and cooperate with the regulations and procedures of the First Responders and the SFPD Community Chaplaincy.

  • shall indicate a willingness to be involved in training that will enhance their effectiveness.


Chaplains who are ordained or licensed members of the clergy,

  • must be in good standing of a faith community recognized by the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

  • will be required to submit to a personal background check through the SFPD.

  • may be required meet certification requirements to become a member of the (ICPC)



If Chaplains are to function successfully, it is vital they be selected with care and that consideration be given to the particular needs of the full diversity of San Francisco.

  • All applicants shall be required to file an “Application for SFPD Community Chaplaincy” with the SPFD.  Two members of the senior chaplain team will provide an initial screening interview with all applicants.  Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are members in good standing of their faith bodies (if applicable), submit a letter of reference from a lay member of their faith body and complete an SFPD background check.  After successful completion of the background check process, 2 members of the senior chaplain team, a first responder and a community member will interview the applicant for admission to the chaplaincy training process.

  • After completing the initial interview process, chaplains will need to complete a training program and 40-50 hours of field training.

  • All Chaplain service is voluntary.



Chaplains may offer the following services:

  • Chaplains, by virtue of their office and presence, can be peacemakers in volatile situations; i.e., a domestic disturbance, suicide, attempts, hostage situations, helping participants uphold the nonviolent goals of a nonviolent protest and negotiations, etc.

  • Chaplains are able to use their specific ability in relating news with empathy, dignity and sympathy; i.e., death notifications and serious injury accidents, etc.

  • Chaplains possess the potential to create a natural rapport with people; therefore, the Chaplain may be available for counseling rape victims, drug abuse, child abuse, crisis intervention, runaway juveniles, battered wives, homeless individuals, etc.

  • Chaplains shall be available to perform other duties not covered in the above, as designated by the First Responders, and based upon the availability of the Chaplains, realizing that the Chaplain’s first responsibility is to their own faith community.

  • While the SFPD has another program designed to provide chaplains directly to officers and their family, chaplains may at times provide emergent care to First Responder personnel and their families during traumatic incidents.Such counseling will be kept private and confidential.



Chaplains shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Chaplains are not  law enforcement officers.  They shall assist the First Responders only and be under their jurisdiction at all times.

  • Should Chaplains conduct any field ministry follow-up, they serve as a minister, as a representative of the any of the Offices considered as First Responders.

  • Chaplains shall not release information to the news media, insurance agencies, etc without the expressed permission of the SFPD PIO.

  • Chaplains, upon performing any support for First Responders, shall complete a Chaplain Activity Log and specific related forms as required by the office who requested the Chaplain.

  • Should an individual specifically take any Chaplain into their confidence, that Chaplain has the right to keep such information confidential.  However, should a Chaplain be told something, not having taken into a person’s confidence, and should the information be helpful or involve the safety of First Responder personnel, the Chaplain shall share such information.

  • Chaplains shall periodically meet with the senior chaplain team to examine ideas and ways to maximize effectiveness of the program.

  • Chaplains shall not, in any way, attempt to replace the personal clergy of those they serve, but attempt to work with them.

  • Chaplains may be asked to notify the involved person’s clergy in cases of death or serious injury or at the specific request of First Responder personnel.

  • Chaplains shall be required to log a minimum of eight hours per month participating in the SFPD Community Chaplaincy.

  • Chaplains will be required to periodically be on call.

  • In some instances, Chaplains may be called on based on their proximity to the call.



Any Chaplain, under the community chaplaincy, is not a law enforcement officer.  Their responsibility is to assist any First Responder personnel, upon request, or with matters within the Chaplain’s professional realm.  They shall not, in any way, interfere with First Responder personnel in the performance of their duties.



Chaplains shall receive the following training:

  • Following their appointment, Chaplains shall be trained in crisis intervention, trauma, addiction support, death notifications, constitutional chaplaincy and other issues. These classes are determined by the SFPD Community Chaplaincy.

  • Chaplains will participate in the Community Police Academy to learn more about the SFPD.  This includes spending time using the forced options simulator that the SFPD uses to determine risks and may participate in a ride along with officers.

  • Chaplains may choose to receive additional training to prepare for disasters.

  • Except for those whose superiors or faith prevents them, Chaplains will also receive training in CPR.

  • Chaplains will secure from the SFPD the appropriate procedure manual to be read and studied.



Chaplains will be issued a SFPD photo identification card.  Each card will read, “SFPD Chaplain.”  This card is to be carried at all times and presented when any Chaplain is on duty.



For the purpose of high visibility identification, Chaplains uniform will consist of: Polo shirts, vests and jackets when participating in field service ministries.  This uniform will be provided by the SFPD Community Chaplaincy after the they are trained, with the understanding that chaplains will return their uniform if they are no longer able to participate in the program for any reason.

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