One voice for the Office of Sheriff
NSA is pleased to announce that Sergeant Brian Boyer of the Berks County Sheriff’s Office in Pennsylvania has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Chaplain of the Year.
Sergeant Boyer’s first career was as a police officer for 15 years. He received a calling to serve a higher purpose and became a pastor. After 10 years as a pastor of his own congregation, he was hired as a deputy in 2007 and was appointed chaplain in 2009. In 2012, Deputy Boyer was promoted to sergeant. In addition to his law enforcement duties, he provides counseling services when requested by office personnel and participates in memorial services as a member of the Office’s Honor Guard. Sergeant Boyer is unique in his ability to counsel as he himself experiences what law enforcement officers experience.
In December 2010, Deputy Boyer was helping employees of the Sheriff’s Office deal with the unexpected death of Deputy Kyle Lesher who was killed in a car accident before Christmas. Just six months later, he was called upon to perform the hardest thing he has ever had to do. It was his duty to knock on the door of Deputy Kyle Pagerly’s home and tell Alicia Pagerly, just six weeks pregnant with the couple’s first child, that her husband had been shot. Deputy Boyer knew nothing of Deputy Pagerly’s condition and tried to keep Alicia calm as they rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, they had learned that Deputy Pagerly had died from his injuries. All through that harrowing night and into the numbing months that followed, Deputy Boyer had out his own feeling aside so he could counsel others struggling to deal with the swirling emotions surrounding this tragedy.
For his actions during and following the deaths of Deputies Lesher and Pagerly, Deputy Boyer was awarded the Meritorious Service Award.
Sergeant Boyer believes that a realistic approach is always better than a canned response one might expect from a member of clergy. Sergeant Boyer says his approach helps him connect with those who need counseling. His counsel following the deaths of Deputy Lesher and Deputy Pagerly remind him of a message he preached to his congregation following the events of September 11, 2001. He says people should not filter their emotions and that it is okay to feel outraged by events difficult to imagine let alone having to live through.
Sergeant Boyer’s commitment to people, law enforcement and community is evident in his approach to not only the employees in his office, but those in the holding cell who have become distraught over actions that made them part of the criminal justice system. He is approachable and looks uniquely at each situation before him. His past experience also includes counseling troubled youth and tells of an instance when a troubled child climbed a tree to get away from him. Sergeant Boyer climbed up the tree after him. There were several follow-up meetings with the child and they all took place in the tree.
Sergeant Boyer is a valuable member of the Berks County Sheriff’s Office. The fact the Sergeant Boyer has a background in law enforcement as well as chaplaincy allows him to understand the emotions of law enforcement to be able to more effectively counsel them.
1998 Norman E. Mitchell - Cumberland County, NC
1999 Chaplain Mary Perry - Troy, OH
2000 Chaplain Ed Stelle - Multnomah County, OR
2001 Sheriff Timothy A. Hawsey - Escambia County, AL
2002 Chaplain Harold Ellis - Bell County, TX
2003 Chaplain Michael Taylor - Rowan County, NC
2004 Father Dennis J. Hayes - Onondaga County, NY
2005 Chaplain L. Gale Lyon - Knox County, TN
2006 Chaplain Ron McMurray - Whitman County, WA
2007 Bishop Doctor Michael J. Love - McHenry County, IL
2008 Chaplain Robert "Bob" Whithford - Lake County, FL
2009 Dr. Glenn Davis - Forsyth County, NC
2010 Chaplain Gerald Bills - Whitley County, IN
2011 Pastor Phillip A. Green - Genesee County, NY
2012 Reverend Tim Eldred - Rutherford County, TN
2013 Pastor Chuck Kish - Cumberland County, PA