RISING SUN — The Rev. Andrew Goins, associate pastor of Pleasant View Baptist Church in Port Deposit, has been named chaplain of the Rising Sun Police Department.
“It’s a great honor and a great privilege to serve my community and Jesus in this way,” Goins said of his voluntary assignment.
Rising Sun Police Chief Francis “Chip” Peterson and Mayor Travis Marion welcomed Goins on Tuesday night, although the young pastor has already been ministering to the town police force and was called in May 13 after three officers were involved in a fatal shooting.
“It was definitely needed,” Goins said of the response to the incident that resulted with the death of a 46-year-old man, ending a reported hostage situation at a Rising Sun-area home.
Goins and Peterson started talking about the department’s need for a spiritual advisor after the workplace shooting at the Rite Aid Distribution Center in Harford County left four dead and three injured in September 2018. Since Peterson is also a member of Pleasant View Baptist Church, he and Goins had a conversation about that incident.
“I said, ‘Chip, are you guys prepared to handle something like that?’” Goins recalled.
The idea lay dormant for a while until Peterson called him to have coffee. Months later, with the policy and procedure in place, the two met again and agreed he would become the official chaplain.
“Police officers face a tremendous amount of stress on the job,” Peterson told the board as he introduced Goins, calling him “a perfect fit for our agency.”
“He has a great personality and when it gets time to get serious he is the person you want to be shoulder to shoulder with,” Peterson said.
The formal ceremony that took place Tuesday night was originally scheduled for May 14. However the mayor and commissioners canceled the town meeting to come together in private instead and process the tragic event.
Goins said it was providential that he was called to serve in this capacity and at this time.
“It’s given me the opportunity to talk with (the officers) and have an ongoing conversation with them,” he said.
He also credits Peterson for being concerned about his department’s total well-being.
“His leadership is exemplary. If you are going to maintain law and order you also have to have compassion,” Goins said. “His desire is the emotional, physical and spiritual health of his officers.”