Swatara Township Police Department Volunteer Chaplaincy Program

In June of 2011 Chief Jason D. Umberger established a volunteer chaplaincy program and the Swatara Township Board of Commissioner’s swore in Pastor Gary T. Lathrop as the first Police Chaplain in the history of the Swatara Township Police Department.

The program offers spiritual and emotional support to Department personnel and their families and assistance with death notifications, funerals, and special events or incidents. In addition, the Chaplain is a resource to crime victims and their families and those involved in suicides and suicide attempts.

Since the program’s inception our volunteer Police Chaplain regularly conducts ride-a longs with our officers and has responded to critical incidents to provide spiritual guidance, emotional support and counseling to officers, victims and witnesses. He is a trained member of the Dauphin County Critical Incident and Stress Management Team (C.I.S.M.). He has also been utilized by the Dauphin County Crisis Response Team and various other Police Department’s across Dauphin County providing counseling and critical incident debriefings for officers and families involved in traumatic and deadly force incidents.

Volunteer Chaplain Lathrop brings with him a wealth of experience as a police officer and police psychologist with the New York City Police Department, as a an attorney with the Baltimore City States Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in private practice defending physicians and hospitals and as a Pastor for eleven years.  Pastor Lathrop has a B.A. in Psychology from Houghton College, a M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a J.D. from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law and a M.A.R degree from the Evangelical Theological Seminary.