Law Enforcement Chaplaincy - Community Hero



Community Hero

Nominated by

Gloria Morrison

Presented by

Chris Rogers, City Council Member


Since 1999, The Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy has provided immediate support and emotional care to first responders, their families, and members of our community who have suffered tragedy and loss. This program sends highly trained volunteers into situations that are sometimes the worst moments of people's lives and are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Chaplains are most often called in by law enforcement. Executive Director Rita Constantini says, "We care about the well-being of our local first responders. Many Chaplains have friends and/or family members who are sworn Peace Officers or work in Emergency Services.  Being there for them during the most traumatic or critical calls helps reduce the negative emotional, spiritual, and mental impact. Likewise, we all feel like if we or someone we loved experienced the unexpected death of a loved one, we would want the Officer to bring a Chaplain on the scene to help us navigate those first few hours riddled with shock, disbelief, and immense grief. We lead with kindness and compassion."  

The Chaplaincy service is currently made up of 42 highly trained Chaplains. The work is described by those who do it as heart-wrenching, challenging, yet deeply rewarding. Their instructions are simple: be with the people. Comfort them as you can, whether in silence or with words. The program motto is simply: "Being There."

Rita says, "The Chaplains are uniquely different, calm under pressure, and forever empathetic. They are sweet people and tough at the same time, who are willing to give of themselves, and while most community members don't know about our service, we know that when we are needed, it can make all the difference because even easing the pain a tiny bit matters in the long run."

Photos of Recipient in Action

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Photos of Awards Ceremony

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