As we continue our Remarkable Women series… Receiving news that a loved one has died isn’t easy. One woman has dedicated the last 20 years with the Minot Police Department to help people cope.
“It’s a place that God ordained for me to be, and gave me the desire and equipped me to do it,” said DeVawn Beckman, volunteer chaplain with the MPD.
Beckman is a volunteer Chaplain. For the last 20 years, she’s helped officers who have responded to an impactful call and need someone to talk to. She’s also assisted officers with the tough task of delivering death notices to families.
“Having a chaplain such as DeVawn by our side, it kind of takes that attention away from us and kind of helps them focus. Not just seeing us, but actually help them hear about what’s about to be said,” said Andy Mehlhoff, master field training officer, MPD.
Beckman said it’s hard to know how the person on the other side of the door is going to react.
“Some people handle it very well. Some people, it’s a true crisis for them. It’s totally unexpected. Particularly if you’re notifying someone that a loved one has committed suicide, that’s a difficult thing. And so, the reactions can stick with you. Just being in ministry, you care about people, so when you see someone hurting, it does impact you,” Beckman said.
She started her career with MPD in 1986 where she was one of the first five hired as a civilian dispatcher.
She said she felt called to become a member of law enforcement in high school and that she has always been ministry-minded.
“I give all the credit to God and it’s just a joy to be a part of the team and to be able to serve in that capacity,” Beckman said.
And if you ask officer Mehlhoff, the feeling is mutual.
“She’s got a very good personality. I’ve never seen her upset I don’t think. I don’t even know if you have a mean bone in your body, but she’s overly-caring and always willing to help us out and be there for us and whatever needs we need,” said Mehlhoff.
Beckman said she doesn’t have plans any time soon to quit providing support to officers and to the community.
“It’s rewarding. You don’t do this because you don’t want to help, you do it because you want to. So to be able to see that you’ve impacted somebody in a positive way it’s a great reward,” Beckman said.
Beckman said they are looking for more Chaplains to join the team.