In 2014, the TWRA formed a chaplain program with primary focus on its commissioned law enforcement officers. While the program focuses on TWRA officers, it also provides services to other TWRA employees, as well as other law enforcement agencies and the public. The chaplains provide spiritual leadership, guidance and support for TWRA officers and others.
Chaplains have been a part of military history since 1775 when they were recognized by the U.S. government and have served in every U.S. war since the American Revolution. Similar to the U.S. military, the TWRA chaplain program is based on three basic tenets: Nurture the living. Care for the wounded. Honor the dead.
This voluntary, faith-based, peer-supported program is designed to provide wildlife officers with an additional option for meeting their emotional and spiritual needs. Wildlife officers are called on to respond to incidents that involve death, victim rescue, victim recovery, or notification of next of kin. They also respond to natural or manmade disasters, which puts them on the front line to see and experience additional stress.
TWRA chaplains build resiliency by preparing the officer for his/her job and by strengthening the officer and his/her family. The chaplains are trained to bring hope and strength to those who have been wounded or traumatized in body, mind or spirit by assisting the healing process. They also participate in memorial ceremonies, services and funerals which place emphasis on the worth and value of the individual. The TWRA chaplain program is another tool to keep our officers safe and fit for duty.