There are currently six chaplains volunteering with the Sun Prairie Police Department as part of a new program started by Lt. Kevin Konopacki. After a horrific homicide in 2015 that was traumatic for responding officers, Konopacki recognized he needed to focus on officer wellness.

He began reaching out to clergy in his community. The training for the new program began late last year. Chaplains are required to attend multiple sessions before they are certified. The aim of the training is to give chaplains the tools they need to learn and understand police work and the role they would play in a department.

Rev. Jenny Arneson, Pastor of Sun Prairie UMC, is one of the chaplains in the program. She and Rev. Mike Tess were interviewed about the program. They spoke about how the lines are clear that their role is a “ministry of presence.” They are there to listen to the officers, and not to evangelize. Tess said, “This is about being of service to the officers, their families, and the community at large. You are a soft place to fall for the officers and for the community that you’re serving.”

Read more in this Channel 3000 news story.