Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ten Questions with Dr. Sam Frye, Police Chaplin

(Photo Credit Debbie Frye)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — “Ten Questions with” is a series that allows readers to get to know local business leaders, volunteers and community members in the Historic Triangle.

This week, meet Dr. Sam Frye.

What is your job title and description?

Police Chaplain. I am one of three volunteer chaplains for the James City County Police Department who supports the department in handling crisis situations, comforting victims and their families when accidents occur and criminal incidents are committed, and providing counseling and other ministerial functions that may be needed

How do you interact with the local community?
By responding to calls for service during crisis situations. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curves. As a result, I meet people when they’re not at their best emotionally and not the most convenient times, whether 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.  It takes an open mind, listening heart, and knowing how to walk through many levels of trauma with victims. This includes various forms of intervention such as counseling, grief support, and walking through the victim’s trauma with them for days, weeks, and even months after the event, such as officiating funerals and other spiritual needs.
Who do you interact with the local community?
Essentially everyone that makes up the county, including families, neighbors, citizens, business owners, and even local, state, and national officials.
What is something about your job most people wouldn’t know about?
I am one of a few volunteer police chaplains who is also a volunteer certified police officer and pastor. Being both a chaplain and officer provides me with added insight to support community and other police officers in a unique way that combines the compassion of a clergy with the knowledge of both Commonwealth and Federal laws.
How do you define success?
Knowing I’ve made a difference in a person’s, family’s, or police officer’s life. Having someone come up to me completely unexpected and thank me for supporting them months or even years ago during a critical incident. It’s what drives my passion for community outreach and a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
What is your most successful accomplishment to date?
I just celebrated 20 years with the county as a volunteer chaplain and police officer.  By last count, I’ve logged over 12,000 volunteer hours during my time with the department.  This opportunity has also allowed me to support a national-based organization called Law Enforcement Untied (LEU). I’ve been with LEU since its inception in 2009 and serve as the National Chaplain, opening doors to support other departments and police officers across the country. LEU’s mission is to honor the fallen, remember the survivors and is comprised of 100% volunteers. We ride bicycles ever year during Police Week from various places around the country in fallen officer’s memory, making stops along the routes to meet survivors and help in the healing process. During this time, I’ve peddled over 6,000 miles from Chesapeake, Virginia to D.C. and started at points as far away as Georgia. At nearly 68 years old, however, I’m not sure how many more miles are left in the knees.
How long have you lived/worked in the Historic Triangle?
For 35 years, still a newcomer by some standards.
What is your favorite part of being in the Historic Triangle?
Perhaps a bit of a cliche, but we have some of the best people in our county, whether everyday citizens, or the men and women from both police and fire departments who risk their lives daily for a county they love, respect, support, and serve.
What do you do for downtime/to relax?
I smile at this question. As a former Marine and Defense consultant, I’m often accused of going 90 mph standing still. But, that’s the way the Lord made me. My wife, Debbie, and I own a small farm in Charles City where she raises honey bees and I enjoy being a wanna-be farmer prepping food plots for the upcoming hunting seasons.
What is the next step in your journey?
The mandatory age for stepping down as a volunteer police officer is 70, but I plan on supporting the department and community and pastoring our local church until the Lord takes me home or the people get tired of me. For me personally, I don’t understand the word “retirement.”  We’re put on this earth to serve the Lord with the gifts He’s provided.  Nowhere does He tell us where or when those gifts cease to exist.

Do you want to learn more about your community and the people who live and work in the Historic Triangle? We are looking for people with interesting jobs, super volunteers, or community leaders to showcase. Reach out to let us know if you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for Ten Questions.

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