LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Working around the clock at the scene of a crime can take a toll on a police officer.
However, they do have some resources available to help them get through situations that may be traumatic.
Last weekend, the La Crosse Area Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, was called out three times, including to last Saturday's shooting at May's Photo.
Each year, chaplains give 7,000 hours of time to the community.
The Chaplaincy just added 9 new members; they now have 22 chaplains in the La Crosse Area and six reserve chaplains for major emergencies.
Often times they are the first people called out to the scene of a crime after police arrive.
At the scene a chaplains job is to comfort the family and sometime tell them the hardest news they will ever receive.
After the family is taken care of, chaplains take care of police officers.
"Just doesn't get exposed to the kind of raw trauma that they see," Mark Clements, Head Chaplain said. "The kind of victimization, the kind of abuse, the after math of accidents and fires. It takes a toll on them."
It can contribute to things like Hypertension and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"They serve and protect and we as chaplains just want to give something back to them and serve them in any way that we can," Clements said.
Law enforcement officers and chaplains lean on each other to get the job done.
"Seminary doesn't teach you how to deal with a multiple fatality, with people strewn around the scene of a vehicle accident, having to talk with witnesses and having to go make notification to spouses and children," Clements said.
Officers said appreciate the help because they didn't learn how to do a chaplains job at the police academy.
"As a young police officer one of the hardest things you had to do was notification to family, to victims stuff like that," Lt. Pat Hogan, La Crosse Police Department said. "Now chaplaincy has taken over so police officers can concentrate other duties that they have to do."
Taking care of others during a traumatic event can also be hard on chaplains.
As head chaplain, Clements said it's his job to check in on other chaplains and make sure they're doing ok after they're finished with their job.
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