Today I was asked to assist an officer with an elderly lady who had been evicted from the room she was renting.  No family or friends were available tonight and she had limited income.

One of the Public Safety Chaplaincy Community Assistance Fund Visa cards provided her with lodging for a night and an opportunity for her to regroup with some friends to find a new place tomorrow.

“Thank you!!” from Sarah (not her real name), and with tears she gave me two long hugs as she could not believe the police would help her.

Chaplain Kevin Smith


Assigned to Multnomah County’s Emergency Operation Center in Troutdale in response to the Eagle Creek Fire, I was tasked with helping find a way to get some gas cards into the hands of folks stranded by the fire who needed assistance.  Several of these individuals and family units were from the East side of the Gorge and could not get back to places like Cascade Locks because of the evacuation.

I was asked one evening if I might be able to assist a couple and the lady’s brother (all of whom are deaf). They were trying to get to their home in the Gorge from a trip they had taken a few days before the fire started.  I think they were camping because they had no idea the Gorge was a raging blaze until they got to where I-84 was shut down completely with signs indicating why.  Turning around towards the Glen Jackson bridge with plans to take WA-14 home instead, they realized they did not have enough gas or money to do so.  Somehow, they found out about the Red Cross shelter in Troutdale but they had no gas and no real idea where the shelter was.  I drove to the station where they were just off I-205 and the only way to communicate with them was paper and pen. They were shocked about the wildfire, worried about their home and their old outside cat back home.  They hadn’t eaten much since leaving for home, were out of money, food and water.  They had no GPS even (they only use their phones as internet devices via Wi-Fi) so they followed me to the shelter.  Long story short, the Public Safety Chaplaincy gift card I gave them helped them get home, and this chaplain and the Red Cross were able to get them fed, hydrated, and rested a day or two before anyone was allowed to return to Cascade Locks.

A day or so later, I received a text message with a picture of a very frightened but very much alive cat, with a thank you.  There were quite a few other “God” things that happened between that first night and my last contact with them, and several great citizens that stepped up to assist this group. I was privileged to watch God at work, and am grateful for the card PSC provided me that helped them on their way.  I don’t know about their personal relationship with the Lord, but the lady did acknowledge to me that she felt God protected and took care of them, and that she was thankful to him for what I was able to do to help.

Thank you so much, Merry Christmas!

Kenton Johnson


Seaside Officer memorial service

PSC Chaplain Jerry Gaidos officiated the memorial service for slain Seaside Police officer Jason Goodding this past week. An unfortunate but necessary part of our chaplain’s job description that they hope and pray they will never have to do.

The life of a Chaplain during the holidays

There I was, enjoying Christmas day with my family and suddenly a text message beamed in from our 911 Dispatch center.  A suicide has occurred and the Chaplain is being requested to come to the scene.   A quick hug on the grandson and out the door I shot.  Then My phone rang; a dying man is asking to speak to this Chaplain…  A message arrives on my phone the following day, “Chaplain, come to a particular address; there has been a stabbing and the scene is chaos; we could sure use you”.  The next text message reads, “Chaplain requested to a Cardiac Arrest scene”.

When these things happen, it is no surprise to watch me pick up my phone as I go and call you…”I’m headed to a tough scene, could you remember me in prayer real quickly?”

Although you hear me routinely say how important your support and prayer is to me, please know that you make the difference between a lone Chaplain working a scene, and that same Chaplain responding in the grace and peace of God.  You are an amazing group and I appreciate all you are and what you do!!

And….It’s time to head off for more self taught Steelhead fishing lessons whenever I can snag a spare moment.

It’s a great way to refresh ones heart and mind!! (But wear plenty of warm clothes!!! J)

Thank you once again for your unwavering encouragement, prayer and support toward all we are seeing done through the Chaplain outreach you are involved in.

In His service,

Steve Brodehl

Master Chaplain

Shop with a Cop

It is the holiday season and many police agencies sponsor a fun event; Shop with a Cop. Great link and interaction with the needy community at large that emphasizes the humanity of these officers that put their life on the line daily.

Our own Paul Schmidt has participated every year with the Fairview Police and received a lot of joy from squiring around young kids and seeing their joy at getting a much needed blessing.

Thanks Paul for all that you do!paulschmidt

Holiday Season

Undoubtedly December brings the happiest of days, especially if you are a child or Christian. Gifts, parties, Christmas lights and tree all rolled into a month long celebration of food and family.

The problem with being an agency personnel or Chaplain is that the bad stuff keeps happening everyday dampening our enthusiasm and joy for the season. People still get in traffic accidents, house fires still burn brightly and loved one’s unfortunately die.

These truths have come home to our family at PSC as Chaplain Joel Peterson recently lost his Father-in-Law and Chaplain Chuck Bowman his daughter Leana. None of us will live forever but death calls us home in this time of celebration, it just seems to hit home harder.

We grieve for our Chaplain’s loss but know someday they will be re-united in Heaven with our savior. God gives us enough grace to sustain thru this pain and we pray that you and yours will be safe and sound thru-out the holiday season.

God bless you and hold you close as we celebrate the birth of our Lord; Jesus Christ.

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