Dodge County Sheriff's Office Adds New Chaplain Program

February 10, 2018 10:26 AM

(ABC 6 News)—A new job for area clergy members is backing up the men and women who wear a badge to protect their communities.

In the worst time of your life who helps you? Sometimes it's those who risk their lives every day, but who helps the men and women who help us?


"We're called when there is a crisis like a fire or a death," said Father James Zotalis with the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Kasson.

Father Zotalis is one of nine members of the Dodge County Chaplain Program.

"I think it's a program that is long overdue here," said Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose.

In a day and age where mental health is the focus of many studies and PTSD is at an all-time high, these nine chaplains from different faiths will help those who've gone through traumatic incidents.

For example, the McNeilus explosion over a year ago, but the chaplains are also assisting law enforcement in many ways.

"Anything that's traumatic for families or anything that could potentially be traumatic for first responders is calling that we want their support on," said Sheriff Rose.

For ten years, Father Zotalis served the people of Rice County, being there for many people at the worst time of their life.

"The most difficult ones were going on the scene of suicides, especially young people and the family trying to work through it and being in shock, those are the hardest ones. The second hardest is to give a death notification when someone has died," said Father Zotalis.


But he’s not alone; Pastor Timothy Chase is another member of the Dodge County Chaplain Program.


"We're going to do our best to be a friendly face in a hard time," said Pastor Chase.


Sometimes the help will be returned to the emergency personnel.


"The things that they see on a day-to-day basis are something that they shouldn't have to deal with alone," said Sheriff Rose.


In the first week of the program, the sheriff’s office has made two calls to the chaplains. The chaplains in the program all volunteer their service.


The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is looking for additional chaplains in the Hayfield and Claremont area. If you're interested, contact the Sheriff’s Office.




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