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East Lansing Police Chaplain's Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
23 pages
This report describes the purpose, operation, and results of the Chaplain’s Program established by the East Lansing, Mich., Police Department in July 1998 with funding from the National Institute of Justice to reduce and manage stress among police and correctional personnel.
The goals were to identify stress issues and to develop, implement, and evaluate the chaplaincy program. The program hired two police clergy to serve police and correctional officers and their families by using counseling, training, reduction of organizational barriers, and other approaches to reduce stress. A program director and two team members developed and oversaw the program with the clergy. Indicators chosen to assess the program’s impact on individuals included the numbers of grievances, complaints against employees, sick hours, and worker compensation claims. Findings were not significant and meaningful, although reductions occurred in some categories. However, team members fulfilled their individual objectives. In addition, a survey that received responses from 51 percent of the 100 employees revealed that most participants had contact with a chaplain, regarded the contacts as positive, and believed that the program should continue. Findings indicated that the program is contributing to the wellbeing of employees and families and that it focuses all three aspects of employee stress reduction: (1) eliminating stressors; (2) improving coping skills; and (3) providing counseling for stressed officers. Appended instrument, figures, table, and 5 references

Date Published: January 1, 1999