A little Heavenly help, courtesy of the sheriff

Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Article Image Alt Text

SCN photo by Marlo Pronovost
            Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office Chaplains Josh Daniels (left) and Scott Davies(right).

Regardless of the size of a law enforcement agency or community it serves, one thing is the same for everyone — death is a regular part of life and seldom an easy thing handle.

It is often law enforcement that is not only the first to witness that death, but also the ones tasked with the heavy-hearted job of telling loved ones the worst news they will ever hear.

The impact of seeing horrific scenes, death and delivering terrible news to family members can take a toll on first responders and private citizens alike.

As of last week, some help on the local scene arrived in the form of the first ever chaplain program at the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office. Scott Davies and Pastor Josh Daniels were officially sworn into office last Thursday by Sheriff Chip Kem, having completed a weeklong training session in Spokane.

Davies has served as a reserved deputy for a number of years and currently is a chaplain for the Billings Clinic, in addition to having experience as a military chaplain. Daniels is new to law enforcement entirely. Both men are eager to get to know all Still-water County first responders and the community better in order to provide whatever kind of help is needed during tragedies and other crisis situations.

Longtime Gallatin County Chaplain Warren Hiebert assisted Undersheriff Randy Smith with getting the program up and going, as well as securing a grant to pay for the training.

The project is the brainchild of Sheriff Kem, who has been looking to implement the program for years. Kem took office in January, shared the idea with his undersheriff and “(Randy Smith) took the ball and ran with it,” said Kem.

Seven months later, the program is in place and has already been used. Kem is already looking to grow the program under what is being called “Operation Safety Net” which will allow the chaplains to work with participating churches to provide support and assistance beyond what the chaplains do, both during and after a tragic event.