FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY MARK 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF NYPD CHAPLAINS UNIT
Centennial Celebration Marks 100 Years of Providing Spiritual Support and Guidance to the Men and Women of the New York City Police Department
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the New York City Police Department's Chaplains Unit. The Chaplains Unit, organized in 1906 with the appointment of Reverends John B. Chidwick and John A. Wade, provides spiritual support and guidance for police officers and their families. Today, there are seven chaplains serving the NYPD.
"The NYPD Chaplains Units has a long and proud tradition of providing New York's Finest with spiritual support and guidance," said Mayor Bloomberg. "NYPD Chaplains have made lasting and significant contributions to not only our uniformed members, but to their families and to our City. For 100 years, NYPD Chaplains have been an invaluable asset in building strength and character throughout the Police Department."
"We could not do without this wellspring of faith and support," said Commissioner Kelly. "Our chaplains inspire the Department members to be ethical in the face of temptation; to be fair in the face of unfairness; and to be courageous in the face of fear and danger."
On February 8, 1906, then Police Commissioner Theodore Bingham appointed the NYPD's first two chaplains. Initially an unpaid position, the role of Police Department Chaplain was described in 1906 as providing "strong moral support to many men who would be good policemen except for a natural moral weakness." Eventually evolving to a paid position, the NYPD Chaplains Unit today provides not only spiritual guidance, but support for Department ceremonies including graduations, promotions and funeral services. NYPD Chaplains have represented a diverse array of religious faiths over the years including Catholicism, Judaism, Islam and Protestantism.
Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam (212) 788-295
Paul Browne (Police Department)