Wis. atheists group objects to police chaplains

  • Associated Press
  • February 21, 2014 - 10:00 AM

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A group of atheists wants Wisconsin police departments to stop using chaplains.

The La Crosse Tribune reports ( ) that the Freedom from Religion Foundation has sent a letter to the La Crosse police department, arguing that the chaplains are an endorsement of religion and violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

Police chaplains in La Crosse are volunteers who respond to emergencies with officers to support victims and families. The chaplains also listen in confidence to officers struggling with work or personal issues.

The department's head chaplain, the Rev. Mark Clements, said in an email that the U.S. Supreme Court has found volunteer chaplain programs acceptable.

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