“He’s a Friend We Rely On”: West Fargo Police Chaplain On the Case

A husband and wife have been serving as the West Fargo Police Department’s chaplains for a number of years.

Pastor Vern Baardson and his wife Casey have volunteered as chaplains at the West Fargo Police Department for more than eight years.

Despite having a full time job as a pastor at Triumph Lutheran Church, Vern manages to still drop in a few times throughout the week to check in on officers.

“I see myself more as friend,” says Pastor Vern.

Since 2007, Pastor Vern has been available 24/7; he’s just a phone call away.

This accessibility has built a strong bond with the West Fargo Police.

“Vern fills some of those voids and some of those other cases were the employee assistance program may not meet everyone’s needs but we also encourage them to use EAP as well,” says West Fargo’s Assistant Police Chief, Jerry Boyer.

Pastor Vern provides support and comfort.

But he is also able to connect to the police on a more personal level.

He’ll even accompany officers on ride–alongs.

“It gives me insight to what they deal with on a regular basis. I think for most of us, who are not part of law enforcement, we kind of have a stereotype of what cops do,” says Vern.

Being a police chaplain, he often finds himself rushing to the side of an officer who is going through a tough patch.

“But a lot of times, you’re the person that just needs to be there at that moment,” he explains.

Vern’s role is more than just being a good listener.

Here’s a good friend and a good shoulder for when there’s a loss.

“He’s a friend that we rely on for any number of different things beyond just a chaplain,” says Boyer.

Being a friend most of the time, and a counselor for when the tough gets going, Vern’s passion for helping others needs no compensation.

“Just really a privilege for us to be able to come along side and serve our community this way,” he says.

Baardson says he and his wife Casey rely on each other after dealing with the emotional stresses faced by officers on the job.

Categories: Video