LIHUE — The Kauai Police Department recently introduced members of its newly-formed Police Chaplain Corps.
The five police chaplains, Thomas Contrades, Kevin Cram, Steven Franks, Alpha Goto and Thomas Iannucci, are available to provide support and encouragement to department personnel and their families. Members of the team represent various faiths but offer support on an on-call basis regardless of one’s religious affiliation.
“Our police department is very grateful to have a team of chaplains who are well-respected members of both their faith organizations and our local Kauai community,” said Kauai Chief of Police Darryl Perry. “All of our chaplains are providing this service to KPD as volunteers.”
The primary purpose of the Chaplaincy Program is to provide support and guidance to KPD officers, employees and their families, as requested. Chaplains may also be asked to provide grief-counseling services to victims or their families during critical incidents or in crisis situations.
Chaplain Kevin Cram is a former congregation bishop and current counselor in the Stake Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are six LDS congregations on Kauai, each with their own bishop.
LDS leadership is considered a lay position and serve unpaid, as do the clergy. The bishops serve a five-year term, and during that time, he said, counseling the members with life challenges and playing an intermediary role between the church and individuals is an important part of the job.
Cram was introduced to the KPD Chaplaincy corps through a friend who encouraged him to apply. His record of service and background check qualified him. He and the other chaplains went through a curriculum specifically designed for law enforcement chaplains.
Chaplain Steven Franks is pastor of Kings Chapel. He serves communities at churches in Eleele, Hanamaulu, and Lihue. He said it is a great honor to have an opportunity to support families and members of the police department.
Chaplain Kahu Alpha Goto is pastor of the Waioli Hui Church in Hanalei.
Chaplain Thomas Contrades is a Deacon at St. Raphael Catholic Church.
Chaplain Thomas Iannucci is the pastor of Breath of Life Christian Ministries in Lihue and served as a Kauai Police Commission member for seven years.
Iannucci said he feels blessed to be serving as a chaplain and called it an opportunity to establish relationships with the individual officers in their day-to-day environment.
The officers support one another, he said, but the additional support is needed for people who work under unusual and demanding pressure.
The chaplains are there to assist with officers after they may have responded to a serious accident or a violent incident, or when someone might just want to talk, he said.
“Police officers are not super human and these regular men and women have chosen a job with a high standard and the community places a high value on them,” he said. “They do things that we don’t see every day.”