Police Unity Tour

Picture2  Picture3  Picture4  Picture5

In 1962 President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officer Memorial Day.  Ever since that day, the calendar week that May 15th falls in has been declared National Police Week.  Special attention is given to pay tribute and honor to those Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the Line of Duty protecting others.

In 2023, Chaplain Richard Hartman FWPD was a part of a pilot program with COPS and the FOP (Police Unity Tour) to have chaplains present at the Memorial Wall during National Police Week.  He was one of 4 chaplains present.  They were there to lend comfort and compassion to family and friends of officers who were killed in the line of duty.  In 2024 they have expanded the program at the Memorial Wall to include 6 chaplains. 

PoliSympathy Booklet FWPD Page 01 Snapshot 01ce Chaplaincy is a ministry of compassion, presence, and prayer set within the dangerous world of law enforcement.  Nine active chaplains currently volunteer their assistance. Police Chaplains serve the officers and civilian personnel of the police department and the community in which they live.  They provide emergency counseling to those in crisis, make death notifications with compassion, pray with those who are in trouble, and provide a compassionate presence to those in grief.  While the work of the Police Chaplain is sometimes difficult and taxing, the satisfaction gained by ministering to those in the worst possible situations is reward in and of itself.

Resources Sympathy Booklet



Meet our FWPD Chaplains


Chaplain Hartman
Chaplain Richard Hartman

Chaplain Hartman is the Lead Chaplain for the FWPD. He has been married to Melissa Hartman for 37 years and they have three grown children.  He has been the Pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN for 21 years.  He has been a Chaplain with the Fort Wayne Police Department since 2011 and Lead Chaplain since 2015.  He is an instructor in the Fort Wayne Police Academy and the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC).  He serves currently as the Assistant Director of Region IV, The Board of Directors for ICPC as Director of Public Relations, and The Editor of ICPC’s The Journal. His hobbies include playing jazz guitar and driving his 1965 Plymouth Barracuda.


Chaplain Hartman

Chaplain Lynda Gibson

Ordained First Assembly God, Author, Chaplain, raised in Fort Wayne Indiana, graduated from Wayne High School. Lynda completed Basic Law Enforcement, Central Savannah River Area Law Enforcement Training Center, after military service as a US Army Soldier.  She attended Ivy Tech Community College for Computer Graphics, Media, and Design. Lynda also attended Indiana Wesleyan University, completing the degrees: Associates of Science in Christian Ministries, Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministries. Master of Divinity Ministry (In Prg).  Lutheran Hospital Chaplaincy CPE training. Academy for Parent Leadership Ind. Suicide Intervention training. She is also the mother of a Law Enforcement Officer and Soldier, which makes her family third generation law enforcement and military service.


Janzen picChaplain Joseph Gudel

Joseph P. Gudel is an ordained minister in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Adjunct Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary.  His post graduate degrees include an M.A. in Christian Apologetics (The Simon Greenleaf School of Law) and a Ph. D. in Missiology (Concordia Theological Seminary).  He and his wife Jackie will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary this summer (June of ’24) and together have three children and four grandchildren. 

Since retiring after 22 years as the Director of Campus Ministries at Concordia Lutheran High School (Fort Wayne, IN) in 2019 he has been a member of the Fort Wayne Police Department as a Police Chaplain.  He also minsters in a number of nursing homes in Fort Wayne, serving with the Lutheran Senior Care Ministries in Fort Wayne. 


 Knoblauch bio CopyChaplain Erick Riddle

Erick Riddle has been serving as a volunteer Law Enforcement Chaplain for 28 years. He has logged thousands of hours in squad cars riding with officers on patrol, delivered hundreds of death notifications, and assisted police personnel through tragedies. He is an approved International Critical Incident Foundation trainer on the topics of Individual/Peer Intervention and Pastoral Crisis Intervention. He holds a Fellow credential with the International Conference of Police Chaplains. He has pastored churches for more than 40 years. Erick and Donna, his wife of 43 years, live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Scott MeinemaPastor Scott Meinema

Prior to establishing Christus Biblical Counseling, Pastor Meinema served as the Counseling Pastor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM (dscabq.com) where he oversaw DSC's counseling center, ACBC training center, and the annual Albuquerque Biblical Counseling Conference (ABQBCC.com). Scott serves as a board member for Healing Hearts Ministries International and an assistant supervisor for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) (biblicalcounseling.com) where he was certified in 2006 and has over 3,000 hours of counseling experience. Scott has been married to Janelle for 36 years and has four adult children and four grandchildren.



Mark MurphyPastor Mark Murphy

Pastor Murphy worked as mechanical engineer for ten years at a nuclear plant in Iowa. He became a Chaplain in 1997. He spent 15 years as an associate then became an executive pastor. He spent 10 years in missions, as missions pastor and part time missionary to Haiti. He has visited around 20 countries,with over 75 trips to Haiti. Pastor Murphy has served the FWPD since 2005. He has been married to his wife Janine since 1991 and has four daughters: Kaitlin, Kylie, Kierstin, and Kelsey. His hobbies include pickle-ball & tinkering in his garage.


Pastor Robe pic SanchezPastor Juan A. Sanchez Sr.

Pastor Sanchez has ministered at King’s Chapel Assembly since 1982.  He previously ministered alongside his late father-in-law, Suffragan Bishop Hobart L. Gregg who founded the church in 1974. Pastor Sanchez attended ITT Tech from  1982 to 1984 and holds an EET Associate Degree.  Pastor Sanchez was elevated in 2010 to Senior pastor after his father-in-law’s health incapacitated him and he passed away in 2013. Pastor Sanchez was married on July 27, 1985, to Julie Sanchez. They have two children, Juan Jr. born May 1990, and a daughter Julia born November 1994. Pastor Sanchez was ordained in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Inc. in 1996 and serves as a District Elder in the Indiana Council, Apostolic Bible Students Association (ABSA). Pastor Sanchez also had worked previously for ITT(Harris Corp) from 1984 to 2016, until the plant closed that year, 2016, as a System’s Tester. While working at Harris for that time, Pastor Sanchez had the privilege to affect hundreds of coworkers when called on to give prayer over the PA system for deceased workers and national times of crisis like 911. The company made combat radios for the armed services for decades. Pastor Sanchez also is a member of the clergy committee of Fort Wayne United.


Dan WhelanChaplain Brandie Turner

Brandie Turner has been involved in ministry for over 25 years and is part of the ministry team at The Pentecostals of Fort Wayne. She is the Circulation Director for Fort Wayne Newspapers where she has been employed for 31 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana Wesleyan University and her chaplain’s license through Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Brandie is also a chaplain at the Allen County Jail where she teaches classes and was part of the leadership team for Jennifer’s Harbor, a non-profit organization that assists women and children of domestic and sexual abuse, for several years.


IMG 20200805 210322Pastor Greg Byman

Greg Byman is the Lead Pastor of St. Joe Community Church in Fort Wayne, an Indiana Conservation Officers Chaplain and on the NE Indiana CISM Team. He married his Ball State sweetheart in 1993 and they are blessed with four children and two daughters-in-law. Greg enjoys family time, fishing, Buckeyes Football, and relaxing on an ocean beach.