The Rev. Tom Smiley has joined the Gainesville Police’s chaplain team as its senior chaplain, according to an announcement Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Smiley, the senior pastor at Lakewood Baptist Church and Hall County Board of Elections chairman, will be a part of a chaplain team that includes six other local pastors.
“Dr. Smiley brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in both ministry, community outreach, and pastoral counseling,” Gainesville Police said in a Facebook post. “Dr. Smiley has been working with our volunteer chaplains to further develop and enhance the chaplaincy program.”
Law enforcement chaplains often provide guidance and solace for the department’s officers, particularly after difficult encounters in the field.
“We look forward to strengthening this partnership with our chaplain team. This program under the direction of our chaplain team will have positive impacts internally within the Gainesville Police Department and externally within our community,” Chief Jay Parrish said in a statement.