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Local chaplain assisting with relief efforts across San Luis Obispo Co.

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 25, 2022

A San Luis Obispo County resident has taken his talents across the country to help with relief and aid to people in need as a chaplain.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office features a chaplaincy program where two men and two women are currently involved in the program.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Randy Martin has even offered up his services to help those across the entire country.

“I've been dispatched to different places around the country for their manmade or nature-made disasters,” said Martin, who is completing his first year at the department.

“My first responsibility to the department is the deputies and all the personnel,” said Martin. “After that, I will be called out by dispatch to deal with people who have lost someone or gone through some kind of tragedy.”

The chaplaincy program falls under the sheriff's office's wellness program, including peer support and counseling services for the department.

“I get to be with people on the worst day of their life to just bring them the hope that comes with chaplains responding to their time of need,” said Martin.

“Law enforcement officers feel safe to speak about what they're feeling and that they're encouraged to not only speak to the chaplain but to one another,” said San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office Commander Keith Scott.

Martin has more than 400 hours of training as a chaplain.

“The chaplain is a volunteer,” said Lyon. “They're not paid staff. They're here because they want to be here. They're trying to serve our community and specifically our deputy sheriffs.”

Martin has also volunteered his time to offer his services to those in need outside of the region, including those dealing with natural disasters.

“After a manmade or a natural disaster, there are a lot of hurting people out there and they just need to be able to talk to someone,” said Martin.

“He has experience of going to places throughout the United States, coordinating with other agencies within our county, and he's genuine,” said Scott.

The hope for the sheriff's department is to expand this program moving forward.

For those going through a crisis and needing assistance from a chaplain, it is recommended to call the sheriff’s department and a chaplain will be dispatched to the site of disaster.