The seventh annual Hope Police Department Awards Banquet had three special additions Thursday night at Unity Baptist Church as three local ministers became official Hope Police Department chaplains.

The seventh annual Hope Police Department Awards Banquet had three special additions Thursday night at Unity Baptist Church as three local ministers became official Hope Police Department chaplains.

HPD had parsons on board assisting in many aspects from ministering to criminals to being a comforting hand in circumstances where a death is involved. Jay Pollan, of Unity Baptist Church was previously certified as a police chaplain and has been assisting the police since 1997
Rev. French Stroughter, associate minister of Lone Oak Baptist Church, and his wife, Phyllis, have also assisted since 2003, according to HPD Chief J. R. Wilson.

Stroughter, Rev. Mark Fischer, with First Baptist Church, and Dr. Phil McLarty, with First Presbyterian Church, recently completed the specific law enforcement chaplain courses to be accepted officially by the HPD. Wilson also completed the chaplain courses with the others.
“Recently brother Stroughter, the other two chaplains, Mark Fischer and Phil McLarty and myself all had an opportunity to go and become certified in the chaplain program, so we are all up to speed on what we want to try to do here,” Wilson said.

Wilson said McLarty stated his reasoning for joining was to support the officers and families of the Hope Police Department and to do what he can to encourage and strengthen the community at large.
Fischer stated he wanted to become part of the police department to be of service and support to police officers and their families as well as to assist and minister to families as needed.

“What makes Rev. Stroughter very special to HPD is that he is a retired San Francisco police department officer. He served on the streets and rose to the highest rank of lieutenant. We are certainly glad to have you and your expertise and we would like to thank all these gentleman,” Wilson said.
Awards given Thursday included Officer of the Year to Daniel Oller, Reserve Officer of the Year to Neil Barwick, and Employee of the Year to Amber Collins.

Other awards included: Five Year Service Pins and Five Year Safe Driving awards to Angela Gammage; Five Year Service to Pin Robert Kosh; Five Year Safe Driving to David Johnson and Mike Martindale; 10 Year Service Pins to Jimmy Courtney, Michael Martindale, Edythe McBride, Gerald Sisson, and Randy Strout; 15 Year Service Pins to Kim Tomlin and Neil Barwick, and (FTO) Field Training Officer Certified Howard Whittle.

Wilson and the HPD also gave special recognition to Unity Baptist for the meal served and to the Unity Baptist youth group for serving guests.