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Volunteer ministers become chaplains for law enforcement

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Sept. 22, 2001
A group of 10 ministers is being trained to become chaplains to help deputies, victims and families deal with tragic situations.
Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said the Rev. Leon Adams began training the volunteer ministers Friday.
A pastor in Opp, Ala., and a former pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Meridian, Adams is also a former Meridian Police Department chaplain and a trainer for a national law enforcement chaplains' association.
Chaplains for the sheriff's department will help deputies notify families of victims who are killed or seriously injured in accidents or violent crimes. They will also serve as counselors for deputies and the sheriff's staff.
Calhoun said there are times deputies and staff need chaplains as badly as victims.
The 10 volunteer chaplains live in different areas of the county, Calhoun said, and can quickly get to families so they don't find out about a tragedy over the telephone or by happening upon an accident. Some also have specialized training to work in specific areas.
Calhoun said anyone in the ministry interested in volunteering can call him at 482-9897.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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