What SHIELD means...
The mission of shield Chaplaincy is to serve, heal, inspire, encourage, love, and to develop strategies to assist law enforcement officers in finding fulfillment at work and at home through biblical principles and practices.
While shield is a distinctly Christ-centered ministry, as a workplace chaplaincy, we assist all officers and their families regardless of their faith or creed. Building and nurturing relationships with officers is at the heart of everything we do. The old adage is still true today: people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Over the last nine years, I have given 30-40 hours a month as a volunteer chaplain with the Roanoke City Police, earning the trust of the officers and many of their families.
I have done hundreds of ride-alongs on the streets of Roanoke, allowing me to see first-hand everything law enforcement encounters minute to minute, met privately with dozens of officers (and spouses), provided hospital visitation, performed weddings, funerals, death notifications, served on several Post Critical Incident Seminars, and provided general support and encouragement.
Retention is an increasing challenge, morale is a constant battle, injured officers often feel left behind, far too many law enforcement marriages are ending in divorce, and officers do not feel like they are making any positive impact.
My Response: Serve full-time through shield Chaplaincy, a nonprofit, working in cooperation with the Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem Police Departments.
I have a simple belief: If officers are emotionally and spiritually healthy, they are more likely to stay and do a better job serving the public.
How You Can Help
First, join Team486, 486 people who will commit to praying for officers, their families, and for shield. While officers primarily deal with the physical manifestations of evil, ultimately, the battle is spiritual (see Ephesians 6:12).
Why 486 prayer partners? This is the combined total number of sworn officers for the Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem police departments when at full capacity. Will you consider joining Team486? Please let me know in the contact box below.
Second, yes, money is needed. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1Timothy 6:10), but money is also a tool of blessing. Indeed, from the days of Abraham forward, we are blessed in order to bless others. Will you partner with me by making tax-deductible contributions? Consider the following options:
MONTHLY Contributions: I am seeking…
20 individuals to commit to giving $100+/month
30 individuals to commit to giving $50+/month
50 individuals to commit to giving $25+/month
ONE-TIME Contributions: I am seeking…
20 gifts of $500+
10 gifts of $1000+
6 gifts of $2500+
3 gifts of $5000+
If you believe in the mission, SPREAD THE WORD!
Refer shield to any individuals or business who may consider contributing to our fundraising.
Share the link to our website and "like" us on facebook.
Please let me know if you would like to join Team 486 by sending me an email using the form, and thank you for partnering with me in this ministry.
I first met Darren as a young patrol officer in Roanoke City. I came into the line-up room in a very poor mood and was using some very "colorful" language. Shortly after my rant the sergeant let me know that he was the new chaplain and was assigned to ride with me that night.
After a bit of apologizing for my language, a smile grew across his face and his hand landed on my shoulder. He explained that he understood the pressures we are under and that a little letting off of steam is to be expected. I truly can say from the bottom of my heart I loved having him in my shop that night. Since then he has always been by my side ready to help and never pushed for anything. He understands cops and is willing to walk the same path we have. It is truly an honor to call him my friend! One of my dearest friends from my time at Roanoke! - Officer
You not only supported my husband as an officer, but also provided support to our family while we navigated life after losing our child. We are so grateful for your continued support. I cannot imagine what officers go through on a daily basis and on top of that, they all carry their own life’s struggles, big and small. I know my husband is not one to solicit a listening ear but you made yourself available in a way that was unobtrusive yet comforting.
We are so grateful to have had your grounding presence available to us. Thank you again! I am forever grateful! – Officer’s Wife
Our wedding officiant and friend Darren Potter! RPD and the whole LE family are lucky to have you as a Chaplain. – Officer’s Wife
Thank you to you and your family for prayers, continual support and inspirational comfort. – Officer
Very grateful to have Darren Potter in my life. For years he has been there to counsel me. Whether he is giving me advice, praying with me, lending an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on, he is always a positive influence. Thank you, my friend. Very much looking forward to our next meeting! – Officer
June 22, 2020
Chaplain Potter showed up at RPD about 11 years ago. We had other Chaplains then and still have additional chaplains now. But this guy shows up consistently. He does ride-alongs, sometime multiple shifts per week, to get to know the officers. He serves with the heart of Christ and bears our burdens with us. He and his wife, Melanie, have never not answered the call....at any hour. At first, we weren’t sure what to think about a preacher riding along with cops whose language and humor are typically dark and not church friendly! He takes it all in stride and humbly serves every day to support the thin blue line.
He has since made this his full-time job. Rarely does a day go by that that I don’t see him: whether it’s working with officers, chatting with us in the hallway, or enduring our dark sense of humor. He has taken hours and hours and hours to build relationships with each officer. Chaplain Potter comes to lineup and prays with the officers at the start of their long unknown shifts ahead. He knows our families and checks on them when we are working long hours. He has gained the trust of every officer who he serves: and that is a monumental task in and of itself!
On Saturday of the protests when our supplemental officers were called in from their weekend off, I looked around and realized we would have to feed the group. Before I could begin the task, Chaplain Potter came strolling in with boxes and boxes of pizza. He is truly special and if you want to support your local police departments here in the Valley: support www.shieldchap.com!
And Darren Potter, thank you! From the bottom of my heart thank you for embodying Christ’s servant mindset to help. We cannot thank you and Melanie enough.
Lt. Susannah Camp
Roanoke City Police