Mission honored at international conference

Five members of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain’s Program recently attended the 35th–annual Training Seminar at the International Conference of Police Chaplains in Mobile.

With more than 600 attendees, all 50 states and 12 foreign countries were represented. Chaplains Mac Stinson, Zane Smith, Ted Sheldon, Don Wright, and Shelby County Sheriff’s Liaison Officer, Lt. Mike DeHart represented our county and state well.

“I am proud of our chaplains and the invaluable work they do in our community,” said Sheriff Chris Curry. “I would put them up against any group anywhere as being outstanding in the service they provide.”

The ICPC is a credentialing organization for law enforcement chaplains and liaison officers. It offers five levels of credentials for its chaplain members and three levels for liaison officers. Chaplains with 10 years or more of service may also achieve the diplomat and fellow levels. Shelby County has a range of chaplains from the basic level to those obtaining the senior and master credentials. Mac Stinson of Columbiana is the state representative for the ICPC.

He reports one of the high points of the conference was a memorial service for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

The names of 167 officers were read as the Mobile police and sheriff’s departments’ honor Guards escorted families to place an ICPC flag in their honor. There were also 16 chaplains who died last year.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King gave the memorial address and the service was concluded with the playing of Taps and a bagpipe recessional.

A high point for Shelby County came at the awards banquet on the final evening of the conference. While many chaplains received recognition, our own Zane Smith of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department received his senior credentials. Our congratulations go out to him on this outstanding accomplishment.

Shelby County’s Law Enforcement Chaplains play a vital role in the health, safety and spiritual well-being of our community.

For more information, call Mac Stinson, Shelby County Chaplain and ICPC state representative at 669–6498.