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Other Name
CAP BADGE, “POLICE CHAPLIN”
Date Range From
1985
Date Range To
1997
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
ALUMINIUM
Catalogue Number
P20100048003
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
CAP BADGE, “POLICE CHAPLIN”
Date Range From
1985
Date Range To
1997
Materials
ALUMINIUM
No. Pieces
1
Height
1.2
Length
6.25
Width
6
Description
SILVER COLOURED METAL BADGE IN THE SHAPE OF A CROWNED CREST WITH IMAGE OF A BEAVER AT THE BASE. RIBBON SHAPES AT TOP AND BOTTOM OF CREST HAVE TEXT IN BLUE READING “POLICE CHAPLIN”. BACK OF BADGE HAS VERTICAL STRAIGHT PIN WITH ROTATING CLASP CLOSURE. MAKER’S STAMP ON BACK. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
PERSONAL SYMBOL
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
RELIGION
History
THIS POLICE CHAPLAIN’S CAP BADGE WAS INITIALLY SOLICITED AS A LOAN FOR THE 2008 EXHIBIT ‘BADGE MEETS BIBLE’. AT THAT TIME, RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED BY GALT COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTO THE HISTORY OF THE LETHBRIDGE POLICE FORCE’S CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM. MACLEAN SPOKE TO FORMER CHAPLAINS RON BUTCHER AND VERN (TIM) HUNTLEY, AND FORMER POLICE CHIEF TERRY WAUTERS. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS SOURCED FROM THOSE INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES FROM THE 1970S. FOR OVER TWO DECADES, THE LETHBRIDGE POLICE FORCE OPERATED A CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM SIMILAR TO THAT OFFERED IN ALBERTA’S CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM. CHAPLAINS APPOINTED TO THE FORCE WERE RECOGNIZED AS HONORARY MEMBERS AND EVENTUALLY WORE THE FORCE’S UNIFORM. ITS FIRST CHAPLAINS, CATHOLIC PRIEST FATHER FRANK MCCARTY AND SALVATION ARMY CAPTAIN RON BUTCHER, WERE CONCURRENTLY APPOINTED IN 1973. FATHER MCCARTY WAS THE LONGEST SERVING CHAPLAIN ON THE LETHBRIDGE CITY POLICE FORCE, RECEIVING A 10 YEAR LONG SERVICE MEDAL FROM THE POLICE IN 1983. DESCRIBED AS A “GRUFF, ROUGH OLD BOSTON IRISHMAN” WITH A HEART AS BIG AS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, THE CATHOLIC PRIEST PREFERRED HIS CHAPLAINCY ROLE WITH THE POLICE AND THE LETHBRIDGE CORRECTIONAL CENTRE OVER WORKING WITH A CHURCH CONGREGATION. HIS DEATH IN 1985 WAS THE RESULT OF A FALL SUFFERED WHILE PERFORMING HIS DAILY ROUNDS AT THE POLICE STATION AT AGE 76. SALVATION ARMY CAPTAIN RON BUTCHER WAS APPOINTED AS A POLICE CHAPLAIN IN 1973 AND SERVED UNTIL 1979. IN 2008 HE COMMENTED THAT HE “WALKED A FINE LINE AS CHAPLAIN” DUE TO THE NEED TO BE TRUSTED BY BOTH THE POLICE AND PERSONS UNDER ARREST. TO GAIN THE RESPECT OF THE POLICE, BUTCHER STATED THAT HE WENT SO FAR AS TO PARTICIPATE IN POLICE SELF DEFENSE TRAINING IN ORDER THAT THE FORCE’S OFFICERS WOULD COME TO KNOW AND RESPECT HIM AS A PERSON. BUTCHER’S ADVOCACY AND COUNSELING SERVICES WERE AVAILABLE TO BOTH POLICE MEMBERS AND ARRESTED ALIKE. POLICE CHAPLAINS WERE UNPAID, AVAILABLE ON REQUEST 24 HOURS A DAY AND ACCOMPANIED OFFICERS – OFTEN DAILY – WHILE OUT ON PATROL. IN ADDITION TO ATTENDING TO THE SPIRITUAL AND PRACTICAL NEEDS OF PERSONS IN POLICE CELLS, THEY ENGAGED AND COMFORTED PERSONS IN CRISIS, WHETHER IT WAS SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE, A VICTIM OF A CRIME OR A FAMILY GIVEN NEWS OF A LOVED ONE’S SUDDEN LOSS. IN 1995, CHAPLAIN TIM HUNTLEY COMMENTED, “I’M (HERE) FOR WHOMEVER THE POLICE FEEL SHOULD HAVE SOMEONE TO TALK WITH, BE IT THEMSELVES, THE VICTIMS OF A CRIME OR THE PEOPLE, OR FAMILIES, OF THOSE UNDER ARREST”. THE CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM WAS DISBANDED IN 1997. ITS LONGEVITY AND SUCCESS WAS OWED TO THE MUTUAL RESPECT THAT EXISTED BETWEEN THE CHAPLAINS AND THE OFFICERS. THE CHAPLAINS APPRECIATED THE “COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING” SHOWN BY THE OFFICERS TOWARDS THEIR WORK – WORK WHICH, MANY FELT, CONTRIBUTED TO THE FORCE’S OVERALL ABILITY TO SERVE THE PUBLIC GOOD. THE DISBANDMENT OF THE CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM IN 1997 MAY HAVE BEEN, IN PART, DUE TO THE FOUNDING OF A VICTIMS’ SERVICES UNIT WITH THE POLICE IN 1991. AT THAT TIME, UNITS OF ITS KIND WERE BECOMING FAIRLY COMMON WITH POLICE SERVICES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. OVER A ONE-YEAR PERIOD IN 1994, THE UNIT’S VOLUNTEERS HANDLED 747 FILES WHICH INCLUDED THE PROVISION OF SUPPORT SERVICES FOR THE VICTIMS AND FAMILIES OF ASSAULT, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, BREAK-INS, ROBBERIES AND SUICIDE. TODAY’S VICTIM/WITNESS SERVICES PROGRAM PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AN EMPATHETIC EAR, PERSONAL VISITS TO HOMES AND HOSPITALS, REFERRALS, AND COURT PREPARATION INFORMATION. SEE PERMANENT FILE P19960112116 FOR INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND HARDCOPIES OF SOURCE MATERIALS.
Catalogue Number
P20100048003
Acquisition Date
2010-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail