If there’s anything Alvin Dillard knows, it is religion and law enforcement.
Dillard is one of the spiritual crutches of the Killeen Police Department, serving as the department’s chaplain in a volunteer position for more than seven years.
While his profession is religion — Dillard is the pastor at Faith Community Church of God — he has always had a calling toward law enforcement. He worked for about 15 years in law enforcement in Missouri and Nebraska.
With a background in law enforcement, which has endeared him to the department and made him a valued member of the city’s law enforcement community, it seems almost natural that Dillard would be the department’s chaplain.
When I first met Dillard, I assumed he was part of the department’s staff. He stood with many of the executive level officers wearing his crisp police uniform with an air of dignity.
“For me, it was to give back. Law enforcement has been something to me my whole life, and it is a high calling,” Dillard said. “To be in law enforcement is very similar to a calling to God.”
Dillard’s work came into full focus July 14 when the first Killeen police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty in more than 95 years. Dillard himself confessed that he would need to rely on others to get through the healing process.
But he has remained available to officers who may be experiencing difficult emotions from the loss of their fellow officer, Robert “Bobby” Hornsby.
Three weeks removed from the shooting, Dillard said the important thing for a chaplain now is to be available.
“It is very challenging if you have nowhere to go, and we try to make ourselves available to them just like a pastor would,” he said.
If being a pastor and chaplain weren’t enough, Dillard also is the chief staffer at the Christian Assistance Network, a nonprofit that provides emergency help for the area’s poor who find themselves in a financial, medical or psychological crisis.