It’s a position within Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office that many people don’t even know exists! A Chaplain in the department is getting international praise. Chaplain Larry Carter spoke with CW 55’s Hayley Minogue about this honor, and what keeps him motivated.
The scratching of a pen against paper is the only noise in Chaplain Carter’s office. He’s handwriting birthday cards, which he does a full month at a time. It’s just one of the ways he shows members of his department that he truly cares.
“I don’t count the hours I put in, it’s really irrelevant to me,” Chaplain Carter said. “You know, it’s…. I have a chance to make a difference, and that is important to me.”
He began his work at the Sheriff’s Office over a decade ago. He counsels his colleagues, whether its marital problems outside the office, or a particularly rough day on the job.
“Unfortunately, we lost a deputy last September… and honestly, Chaplain Carter was one of the things that held the agency together,” said Undersheriff Don Adams.
Chaplain Carter’s visits and messages to deputies are his little ways of showing he cares, and in a big way, he was honored for that care. He earned the John A. Price Excellence in Chaplaincy Award this year. He was selected from over 2,500 chaplains internationally.
“I don’t do what I do to get a reward, or a pat on the back,” Chaplain Carter said. “It’s nice, but they are the reason why I’m here.”
This year, Chaplain Carter’s responded to 15 calls for counsel from people out in the field. Not just deputies, but also bystanders who may have witnessed a tragic incident.
“To me, if you invest in people, you can’t go wrong,” Chaplain Carter said. “Not everyone will say thank you, not everyone will come back and say thanks for what you did or you made a difference, cause that’s not the why I do it… but it’s just the right thing to do.”
He encourages anyone who may be interested in becoming a Department Chaplain to reach out to him for help.