Colerain police add a chaplain: By Jennie Key
The newest member of the Colerain Township Police Department doesn’t carry a gun or a badge. He’s concerned with a different kind of law. God’s law.
Police Chief Dan Meloy has invited the Rev. James Love, pastor at Southland Missionary Baptist Church, to join the department as chaplain. The church is at 2485 Springdale Road.
Love is actually not an enforcer but rather a safe place and listening ear for officers who face a cruiser full of stress every day. He says he is not a police wannabe.“ I have been through the citizens police academy,” he said. “What I hope to be is a cheerleader and an advocate. I want to personally encourage the officers and help them keep their heads on straight.” He is spending his time now getting to know officers, doing ride-alongs and building relationships. “It takes time to build trust,” he said. Meloy said he has been thinking about the need for a chaplain for a while. “My job is to take care of my officers,” he said. “After some things that have happened – the loss of our firefighters for example – I felt this was an area we needed to address.”
Love says he knows a number of pastors who serve as chaplains, and he is looking forward to getting to know the officers and their families and serving them in any way he can.
“People often think of death notifications when they hear chaplain, but the chief made it clear to me that my main concern is the officers,” he said. “I want to encourage them to have balance and good family lives.”
Love speaks Spanish, thanks to growing up as a missionary child in Mexico. “My grammar’s not great, but I speak it and can bring that to the department as well.”
He said he knows it will take a while before he has built up the trust he’ll need to be effective.
“I am not in a rush. This is a ministry of availability,” he said. “I will have an office area in the resource center, I will ride with officers and it will come naturally in time.”
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ist Church, to join the department as chaplain. The church is at 2485 Springdale Road.