NORRISTOWN — The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office was honored to welcome Rabbi Glenn Ettman of Congregation Or Ami in Lafayette Hill as its new chaplain during a special outdoor ceremony at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
Ettman, who has extensive experience in pastoral counselling with a significant focus in the areas of grief, trauma, and bereavement, is the first MCSO chaplain in more than 20 years.
He was sworn by Montgomery County Judge Melissa Schwartz Sterling, a congregant at Or Ami.
Sheriff Sean Kilkenny got to know Rabbi Ettman through his service as sheriff and as solicitor of Whitemarsh Township and was inspired by Ettman’s words of hope during an ecumenical service following the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh in October 2018.
“One of my favorite authors/philosophers is the late Elie Wiesel who said 'The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference,'” Kilkenny said while recalling the emotional, physical, and spiritual strain the office and the general public have endured since the outbreak of COVID-19 and widespread civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd.
“Our deputies and administrative staff have served this county with distinction and honor these last six months; protecting both our citizen’s right to peacefully protest and the personal and business property of our citizens from unlawful looting. I am proud of our office and to work with such professionals on a daily basis.”
“Rabbi Ettmann will be a great addition to our team and will provide the support we all need during these trying times as a Chaplain who fights indifference.”
In addition to the swearing in of Chaplain Ettman, the sheriff's office also welcomed its newest four-legged deputy, K9 Skiff, at the Sept. 8 ceremony.
Skiff is an extremely energetic 16-month old Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix trained in narcotics and patrol at the University of Pennsylvania Working Dog Center.
Skiff will partner and live with Cpl. Trevor Keller and his family, along with his predecessor K9 Artus, who retired last December.
Throughout his career with the sheriff's office K9 unit, Cpl. Keller has received numerous commendations for his work in handling canines who took part in major interagency narcotics and mutual aid tracking operations.
At the close of the ceremony, Chaplain Ettman bestowed a blessing on Deputy K9 Skiff.