Volunteer of the Year 2017

Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly, a Deacon in the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, was accepted to the Lincoln Police/Lincoln Fire & Rescue Volunteer Chaplaincy Corps in May of 2010. In a short period of time, Rich has proven himself to be a gentle, faithful asset to both departments, the Chaplaincy Corps and the community as a whole.

Only two years after joining the Corps, Rich accepted two terms on the Corps' Board of Directors, during which time he was elected to hold the office of Assistant Senior Chaplain. This position is responsible for producing the monthly Duty Chaplain schedule. Due to a sometimes low number of active Chaplains, this can be a daunting task. As a result of the responsibility assigned to him, Rich set out to revamp the scheduling process to include a back-up Chaplain assigned to those days when a Duty Chaplain would not be available. This modification in the scheduling protocol ensured that, even though there may not be a Duty Chaplain available to perform the more common, non-critical tasks often associated with the job, someone would be available to respond to major incidents.

For the past two years, Chaplain Kelly has held the office of senior Chaplain. This office is trusted with overseeing the collective operation of the Corps in conjunction with the LPD and LF&R liaisons assigned to the organization. During this past year, Rich has relied upon his knowledge not only as a spiritual servant to Public Safety and the community, but has reached into his training and experience in Business Administration to help the Corps' ministry of presence run as effectively as possible. In 2016, he fine-tuned the Corps guidelines, most notably taking the unprecedented action of paring down the number of representatives on the Board of Directors as well as streamlining the Board meetings and in-service training.

Both the Lincoln Police Department and Lincoln Fire & Rescue were faced with some very delicate, critical incidents in 2016. As a former peer member of the Nebraska Critical Incident Stress Management Team, Rich immediately recognized the need for those within the Corps to be on hand to the women and men in Lincoln's Public Safety community to offer prayer and support to those on the front line affected by these incidents.

Chaplain Kelly has also been instrumental in training new Corps members as well as being a part of the training academies of the Lincoln Police Department and Lincoln Fire & Rescue, explaining the ideals and goals of the Corps to ensure an understanding of the scope of service available by the Corps to police and fire employees and those who are served by them.

The responsibilities place on the volunteer Chaplaincy Corps are many and the position of Senior Chaplain holds even more responsibility, yet Rich approaches his job with eagerness, level-headed reasoning and most importantly, kindness and compassion. In addition to the duties listed above, Rich is also signing up to take multiple Duty days each month. A church co-worker once described Rich as "committed in ministry and to his faith?serious about serving the needs of others and care for all people." Having demonstrated those characteristics time and time again throughout the past year, the Awards Committee is proud to select Senior Chaplain Richard Kelly as the Lincoln Police Department's 2017 Volunteer of the Year.