Despite the pandemic, there are 13 volunteers and a full-time chaplain on call 24/7 to ease minds in the capital city.
Even though they are all full-time pastors or deacons, if there is a 2 a.m. fire, a chaplain gets out of bed and heads to the scene to support first responders and anyone who is affected.
Chaplain Greg Carr is at the helm of Crisis Care Chaplaincy. He says, like the rest of the community, they too are in the midst of a storm.
You may recognize Chaplain Carr from the prayer he shared at one of the Governor’s Sunday evening Coronavirus Press Conferences. He says the last few weeks have been particularly stressful for law enforcement.
“Our chaplains are still able to do station visits and ride-alongs. That may change in the days to come, it just depends on how this virus spreads. But, we are a part of the greater team. I think it would make their jobs more difficult if we weren’t able to do our jobs,” Chaplain Carr shared.
“We’ve got to put on this tough persona. You know, because we can’t shut down,” added Bismarck Police Deputy Chief Jason Stugelmeyer.
But, chaplains have been essential for years. In fact, the Crisis Care Chaplaincy has been there to support Bismarck law enforcement, other first responders, dispatchers and the community since 1979.
“To take care of our responders as the incident is unfolding,” explained Deputy Chief Stugelmeyer.
He says after multiple officer-involved shootings in the last few months, he is extra thankful the Chaplaincy is around, to make sure officers are taken care of mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
“I’ve always believed in three things: loving God, loving others, and serving,” Chaplain Carr concluded.
He says although times are uncertain, all agencies they work with have their chaplains’ cell phone number, and they are available day or night as usual.
Normally, this would be the day each month that KX News has the opportunity to bring lunch to a well-deserving agency or organization. Unfortunately, in following social distancing guidelines, we couldn’t bring lunch for the chaplains and first responders today.
But, it’s something to look forward to doing once again, when that day comes.
Chaplain Greg Carr mentioned one of the most difficult parts of his job is working to bring in enough donations to keep the Chaplaincy going.
With a major fundraiser indefinitely postponed, finances are even more tight than usual.
If you’d like to help out, donations can be mailed to the Bismarck Police Department.
Address the envelope to: ATTN: Crisis Care Chaplaincy at 700 S. 9th Street in Bismarck.