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Chicago PD’s first Muslim chaplain

From the Chicago Tribune:

Selenica is a veteran police officer, sworn in about 18 years ago after graduating from Columbia College in the South Loop.

But he’s a rookie chaplain, having taken the job about 10 months ago. He joined three full-time Christian chaplains who are also sworn officers and a rabbi. They are supervised by the Rev. Dan Brandt.

Like the others, Selenica ministers to the needs of all officers of all backgrounds. But he acknowledges that his role is an important step forward for the city’s Muslim community.

Officers of his faith now have someone they can approach for spiritual advice from their perspective. It fosters a sense of belonging.

“It’s not only just the Muslim police officers, but also within the community it’s made (Muslims) feel more a part of the society, that they are part of this city, are part of this department,” he said.

After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, many Muslim-Americans struggled with the onslaught of suspicion and hate. “We need representation,” Selenica thought.

He toyed with the idea of becoming a chaplain then, but it would be years before he finally took that step. First, he had a lot to learn about his own recently discovered faith.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.