Pastor Dr. Leon Thompson was officially named the new Chaplain of the Richmond Heights Police Department at City Hall on June 15.
A practicing pastor for more than 30 years, Thompson was chosen by Richmond Heights Police Chief Thomas Wetzel to help provide spiritual assistance to officers and the community.
The role of a police department chaplain is to care for all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, while respecting the beliefs of all who come to receive their guidance. They can also serve local people and police personnel struggling with a stressful work environment.
Wetzel said Thompson would be a welcome addition to the department for his spiritual guidance and acceptance of nature.
“A chaplain serves everyone in various places. Whatever the difficulties, I share and try to encourage people,” said Thompson. “I tell people to try to be patient with the Lord, but most of all to tell people that God is always there to help and support and to give love and a helping hand. It is the perspective and the duties of a chaplain and provide the opportunity to share God with everyone.
It is important to Thompson to provide an encouraging environment for all who seek advice from him, regardless of their beliefs or orientations.
“If you can just trust and believe he’ll be with you,” Thompson said. “That’s what I want to tell people. Encouraging and letting people know that they shouldn’t give up, … that’s the feeling I hope to convey, a feeling of hope.