IMPD chaplains bring peace to families, police on darkest days

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Just over a dozen IMPD chaplains, only three paid and the rest volunteer, are in charge of bringing peace and comfort to families who have suffered personal tragedies.

“There is no typical scene, even if you’re going on the same type of scene,” Chaplain Orlando Jordan Jr. said.

Jordan said the coroner, detectives, and other members of law enforcement will call them to a scene where there has been a death, such as a homicide, a suicide or an overdose.

“Families will show you how to properly minister to their needs and that time of grief and sorrow,” Jordan explained.

Jordan said the IMPD chaplain’s office is always available to help others, regardless of their religion.

“Our office encompasses every religion that we possibly can bring in as a chaplain. We have a Muslim, an Imam that’s a chaplain, we have a Catholic priest that’s a chaplain, we have a Jewish Rabbi that’s a chaplain, as well as a myriad of Christian based pastors and ministers,” Jordan explained.

Jordan serves alongside Chaplain Patricia Holman, who is the senior staff chaplain.

“When something bad does happen, we’re a constant, a constant, in a world that’s always changing,” Holman said.

Holman brings a special perspective to the office.

“I was an officer before I was a chaplain, and I had 32 years as an officer,” Holman said.

Holman and Jordan said it is not only victims’ families they assist, but other officers, both current and retired, and even their families too.

“Both chaplains and officers see a lot of stuff that nobody ever wants to see and experience things that nobody would ever want to experience,” Jordan said. “That can weigh on you if you don’t have that outlet to be able to talk to somebody.”

Throughout the year the chaplains also spend time with children and do numerous service projects, like making a bench out of recycled plastic bottle caps and other plastic material and helping a woman on the southeast side of town with a rebuild project.

“To not do just reactive work, but proactive work, to reach out to the community even before things happen,” Holman said.

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