The San Jose Police Chaplaincy program was founded by three police officers in 1977, Lt. Larry Thannisch, Lt. Bill Erfurth and Sgt. Fred Reid. They wanted to provide a service for members and families of the San Jose Police Department. The objective has grown over the years to also provide services for the citizens of the City of San Jose. The program operates with the approval and support of the SJPD Administration and the San Jose Police Officer’s Association.
Currently, there are two full-time chaplains. Chaplain Dave Bridgen has been with the Department for over 27 years and Chaplain Jim Becknall over 15 years. There are also mant volunteer community chaplains, representing various faiths, serve police and citizens in a time of crisis. They assist any member, family member or retired member of the San Jose Police Department as well as members of the community. The chaplains are available to any one regardless of religious beliefs.
The chaplains take part in many departmental functions such as promotions, graduation ceremonies and training; they assist during times of crisis as well as counsel and support the San Jose Community. The chaplains assist families with funeral arrangements and grief counseling. They conduct Critical Incident Management services. The two full-time chaplains are on call 24-7 and respond to any situation. There is a Chaplaincy Board of Directors that the two Chaplains are responsible too.
The chaplaincy program is a non-profit organization funded by contributions. Some of the chaplaincy program expenses are:
For more information please call our office at (408) 297-9500. Thank you for your interest in our program to assist people in a time of crisis.
Dave Bridgen has lived in San Jose for over 32 years. Dave was an associate minister for about twenty years. He has been with the San Jose Police Department since May of 1986. Dave has been married to Betty Ruth for over 44 years. They have two sons that are married, two granddaughters, and one grandson. If you would like to see pictures just ask him.
Dave was a Sgt. in the Viet Nam war, is a graduate of Biola University and Talbot Seminary. He is a member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.
Jim Becknall grew up in Santa Clara. After graduating from High School, Jim served 2 years in the United States Army. Upon discharge, Jim attended West Valley Junior College and then received his theological training at Multnomah School of the Bible. After graduating Jim served as an associate pastor for approximately 20 years.
Jim was recruited by retired Sgt. Greg Trapp to serve with Chaplain Dave as a Department Chaplain in 1998. Jim and his wonderful wife of 32 years have 3 children. He has enjoyed living in Morgan Hill for the past 29 years. Jim’s favorite recreational activity is snow skiing.