PSC and the Concept of Confidentiality
Public Safety Department employees are often confronted with situations that demoralize and create emotional, mental and spiritual burdens. These burdens affect those employees who dealt with the incidents, as well as their families and the citizens involved. Law enforcement officers and firefighters often need to express their frustration and problems to someone who fully understands the circumstances surrounding their duties, without fear of repercussions, and in complete confidentiality.
PSC chaplains are in a unique position to listen to the public safety employee’s problems with empathy and offer advice, counseling, and assistance when appropriate. In accordance with section 90.505 of Fla. Statues, when functioning in the performance of counseling duties, the communications between the chaplain and the counseled are privileged, and the chaplain may not be compelled to disclose the issues discussed.* Department personnel then have the assurance that the details of their conversations with a chaplain will not be reported to anyone.
Public Safety Chaplaincy provides 24 hours a day response and assistance to participating Departments and their employees. A police chaplain may be called to respond whenever there is an incident involving trauma to a Public Safety employee or others in order to bring comfort and consolation to the emotionally distraught.
(*) Chaplains are required to be ordained and legally recognized in order to ensure confidentiality.