Sunday, May 09, 2021
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The Department's Chaplain program was founded in 1984 with a mission to serve the members of the Department and their families and the members of the Atascadero community. The chaplains are tasked with providing spiritual guidance, counseling, and comfort in times of emotional crisis. They serve as a spiritual bridge between the police and the community in sensitive community relations issues.

The chaplains are ordained ministers in the community who are appointed by the Chief of Police after undergoing a selection process. Membership in the chaplain program is open to all religious faiths. There are currently two chaplains, Rick Comstock and Tom Gaddis, in the program who have completed specialized training programs for police chaplains focusing on ride-along procedures, police-community relations, interactions with victims and witnesses, and crime scene protocol.

Through their training, chaplains learn of the unique difficulties and stress inherent in being a member of a police agency. The chaplain strives to create relationships with the members of the Department that will enable the Department member to seek assistance or counseling at any time for any personal reason. Chaplains are available to assist officers in making death notifications, interacting with and comforting traffic collision and crime victims and witnesses, and counseling individuals including children involved in domestic violence incidents as appropriate. They are also a resource to provide emergency assistance to the community on emergency travel and housing.

If you would like additional information on the Chaplain program, contactSergeant Kellye Netz at 805-470-3252 or


Category: Police Department

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