Deacon serves as chaplain for Salt Lake City PD

Friday, May. 17, 2024
Deacon serves as chaplain for Salt Lake City PD + Enlarge
Deacon John Kranz
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY — Deacon John Kranz recently joined the Salt Lake City Police Department as a volunteer chaplain on an on-call basis.

Deacon Kranz, who serves at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, enjoys being involved with the liturgy, and this new opportunity to serve is a way to give back to the greater community, he said.

Prior to Covid and before he and his family moved to downtown Salt Lake City, Deacon Kranz served as a volunteer chaplain with the Unified Police Department.

“It was a tremendous blessing to be present in times of incredible circumstances that required a spiritual shoulder to lean on and direct through times of trials, tragedy, chaos and confusion,” he said.  “Like hospital ministry, it is truly fulfilling to my personal diaconal ministry to be present in these times for families and the individual officers.”   

As a chaplain, he will serve the community and the police officers on those occasions that call for a spiritual presence in times of crisis.

In addition to his responsibilities at the cathedral, Deacon Kranz works full-time as a branch manager for Salt Lake City, Air & Sea. Given his schedule, he has been assigned one police department shift a week, and expects to be called upon during the swing and graveyard shifts.

Deacon Kranz, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of his ordination in January, is the only Catholic chaplain among a dozen or so who serve the SLCPD. Their role is critical in helping both the community and police officers deal with traumatic crisis situations.

Oftentimes supervisors are concentrating on the logistics of an incident and “they don’t really have time to get tied up in the emotional side of those kinds of situations, of taking care of families and things like that,” he said. “So the chaplaincy frees them up to focus on their job.”

Being present for the police officers is valuable, as well, he said. “The officers, they’re often in their 20s; they don’t know how to deal with that stuff, such as homicides and suicides.”

The Salt Lake City Police Department appreciates the service of Deacon Kranz and the other chaplains, said Sgt. Mark Wian of the SLCPD. “Our department’s chaplains provide a special resource to our department and community. We appreciate Deacon John Kranz’s willingness to share his life experiences for perspective and insight. For as tough as our officers are, it is comforting to know Deacon Kranz and our team of chaplains stand ready to help them stay prepared –  mentally and spiritually – so they can better serve themselves and our community members.”

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