How we began.
The San Jose Police Chaplaincy program was founded by three police officers in 1977, Lt. Larry Thannisch, Lt. Bill Erfurth and Sgt. Fred Reid. They wanted to provide a service for members and families of the San Jose Police Department. The objective has grown over the years to also provide services for the citizens of the City of San Jose. The program operates with the approval and support of the SJPD Administration and the San Jose Police Officer’s Association.
Chaplain Dave Bridgen served the Department faithfully for over 30 years and retired in 2014. Currently there are two Chaplains: Chaplain Jim Becknall and Chaplain Bryan Allen. Jim has been a Chaplain since 1998 and Bryan came on board in 2016. There are also many volunteer community chaplains, representing various faiths that serve police and citizens in a time of crisis. They assist any member, family member or retired member of the San Jose Police Department as well as members of the community. The chaplains are available to any one regardless of religious beliefs.
The chaplains take part in many departmental functions such as promotions, graduation ceremonies and training; they assist during times of crisis as well as counsel and support the San Jose Community. The chaplains assist families with funeral arrangements and grief counseling. They conduct Critical Incident Management services. The two chaplains are on call 24-7 and respond to any situation. There is a Chaplaincy Board of Directors that the two Chaplains are responsible too.
Jim Becknall grew up in Santa Clara. After graduating from High School, Jim served 2 years in the United States Army. Upon discharge, Jim attended West Valley Junior College and then received his theological training at Multnomah School of the Bible. After graduating Jim served as an associate pastor for approximately 20 years. Jim was recruited by retired Sgt. Greg Trapp to serve with Chaplain Dave as a Department Chaplain in 1998. Jim and his wonderful wife have 3 children. He enjoys living in Morgan Hill. Jim’s favorite recreational activity is snow skiing.
Bryan Allen has lived in San Jose since he was five. Went to Santa Teresa High School and San Jose Christian College. He was a student ministries pastor for over 20 years. He ministered to students and their families and enjoyed watching the students grow up and get married and have their own kids. He enjoys counseling people and helping people through the joys and struggles in life. He has been with the San Jose Police Department since May of 2016. Bryan married Marlene in 2002 and has 2 daughters. He loves hanging out with his family. His favorite restaurant is Su’s Mongolian BBQ.