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Religious Counselor Network Expanded

February 06, 1996|JEFF KASS

Police Cpl. Alan G. Caddell remembers one of the toughest emergency calls he'd have to go out on: sudden infant death syndrome, in which babies die from no apparent cause.

"When you are at these kinds of scenes, you feel horrible," said Caddell, who now oversees the Santa Ana Police Department's volunteer programs.

"You wish you could have done something."

Now, Caddell says, officers can do something.

That help will come in the form of an oversized, powder-blue business card with a 24-hour help line to be handed out beginning later this month to victims of traumatic incidents.

The help line will refer callers to a religious counselor who fits their needs, whether it be a rabbi or the pastor of a Samoan Christian church.

The Santa Ana Police Department will have its orientation meeting today for the Pastor's Network, and expects to sign up as many as 50 religious organizations.

Virtually every law enforcement agency in the county makes use of a handful of pastors to provide counseling for officers and victims.

But Caddell said this will be the first time a local police department has set up such an extensive network of religious organizations that will be on call 24 hours a day.

"We, as a department, are not promoting any particular religion," Caddell said. "It's just one more tool out there."

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