Chaplains sworn in at Marshfield Police Department
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Local clergy were sworn in as chaplains with the Marshfield Police Department Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the department headquarters.
Chaplains provide for the personal needs of department members and the community when called upon.
“It’s about being present, not only for staff but the community as well,” said Marshfield Police Lt. Darren Larson. “They may be called upon for a death scene or a domestic incident or for someone that is the victim of a crime, … any time a calming presence is needed.”
The all-volunteer chaplain program began with the Marshfield Police Department in 1986, but it had stagnated in recent years due to the retirement and relocation of several active participants.
Larson said, “The chief (Rick Gramza) had asked that we try to invigorate the program, so we reached out to our community partners, churches in the area, and we received an absolutely overwhelming response.
“The candidates that you see here have gone through a vetting process. They’ve been screened. They are candidates that represent their denominations well, and they are going to represent us equally well.”
Inducted chaplains included Daryn Bahn, Christ Lutheran Church; Patrick Bousum, Center City Church; Tim Houk, Evangelical Free Church; Jeffrey Peckham, United Pentecostal Church International; and Anthony Sari, Baptist Church.
Longtime department chaplain Bahn is a second generation chaplain to serve with a municipal service department. While being exposed to the chaplaincy in his youth led him to serve as an adult, the need of the officers is what makes him eager to provide.
“I really appreciate the chance to be there for them,” Bahn said. “A lot of times they are on their own.”