Penrith Police have welcomed Reverend David Riethmuller to the station as their new police chaplain.
A service of investiture was held for Rev Riethmuller last week, with senior police officers, state police chaplains and church representatives in attendance.
Dressed in his officer’s uniform, Rev Riethmuller was presented with a police chaplaincy stole, hardhat, police identification and OHS safety vest.
Rev Riethmuller currently runs the St Marys and Rooty Hill Uniting Church but has decided to extend his services to the police force after an eye-opening personal experience.
“I was called to the Quakers Hill [nursing home] fire last year, and apart from witnessing the obvious grief and stress of friends and families, I also saw how the police are forced to cope under such difficult circumstances and did such an amazing job. That was my motivation to become a police chaplain,” Rev Riethmuller said.
“I appreciate the role that I have been given and the responsibilities that it encompasses. I know policing is not a 9am to 5pm job, it’s 24 hours and I will work alongside everyone.
“I am a local person and I am only just around the corner and I will be there for you all.”
As police chaplain, Rev Riethmuller will provide an integral part of the counselling services offered to civilian staff of the police force, police officers and their families.
Rev Riethmuller is one of 200 new chaplains to be appointed to police stations over the coming months as the police chaplaincy program expands.
The program dates back to 1980 when Father Jim Boland was officially named the first honorary police chaplain, a role he had unofficially taken on in 1972.