KEEPING VIGIL: The Sheriff's Chaplain

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Curt Quashnick serves as the Head Chaplain for the Spokane County Sheriff's Department Curt Quashnick serves as the Head Chaplain for the Spokane County Sheriff's Department
SPOKANE, Wash. - There's no question law enforcement is a tough job. Statistics show a 25 year career in law enforcement is like being a combat veteran for 3-5 years.

That is why the Chaplaincy program is so important. In this Keeping Vigil, you'll meet a man who says it is only by the grace of God that he's here helping others.

"I'm here today because God took compassion on me. I was one of the guys who was not doing well eventually. I became very angry in police work. I took it out on a lot of people on the streets. I took it out on a lot of people around me. There were very few people that talked to me," Spokane County Sheriff's Chaplain Curt Quashnick told KHQ's Stephanie Vigil.  

Quashnick had seen a lot in his 30 years as a Sheriff's Deputy.  

"When I'm on the way to a call, I think how am I going to get there, what's traffic like, what am I going to find when I get there?" Quashnick recalled during his interview. 

The uncertainty took its toll, and the pressure almost ruined him.

"I was so down and I was such a pathetic person at that time that I needed to cling to something and I found my lord and savior. Turning to him has meant everything. I'm alive today because of that."  

He's alive and helping others as the Head Chaplain for the Spokane Sheriff's Department.  

"What we try and do is meet the emotional and the spiritual and the physical needs. Law enforcement is a tough line of work the divorce rate is very high among police officers."  

Being on the force himself he can relate to what these officers live through.

"When you get in that car you are always up. It has a physiological effect with adrenaline and other chemicals in your body. You are always prepared to react to something that may possibly happen. It may never happen but you still need to be ready," Quashnick said. 

Whatever the circumstances, the Chaplains that volunteer their time, and do it out of devotion.  

The other side of the job as Chaplain is to deliver news to survivors of tragedy.  

"I always say a prayer that I'd be able to give a message to somebody. It's a bad message to give. It's probably the worst message that you hear most of the tie. Especially involving younger people," Quashnick said. 

He is familiar with pain, and he's seen the world change, but this has become his life's calling 

"I'm out there to try and help people in a hard time. If they ask me how my faith becomes involved I'll be more than glad to share that with them. I have a hope in my faith that I don't think I could get through a lot of stuff if I didn't have that. If you look at the world, it's a pretty sad."

Quashnick said that aside from the Lord, he leans on his wife.

"My wife is my buddy. She's the reason I get up in the morning. She's my friend and my confidant."
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