Los Angeles Police Department Swears in First Official Muslim Chaplain in 150-Year History

Posted: May 20, 2022

LAPD Chaplain Rushdan Mujahid-Deen meets with department team

For the first time in its storied 150-year history, the Los Angeles Police Department has officially commissioned their first Muslim chaplain. On April 27, 2022, Imam Rushdan Mujahid-Deen, a long time member of the Los Angeles Muslim Community, was sworn in as new LAPD chaplain at Parker Center headquarters. The historic appointment continues the department’s well-established trend in building strong relationships with the local Muslim-American community.

Chaplains provide an important resource for police officers. They serve as counselors who can provide spiritual insight into the challenges and difficulties officers often face. Few careers present a higher degree of stress than law enforcement, particularly in a big city like Los Angeles.

“Working in law enforcement can be very stressful and officers often need someone with whom they share their inner thoughts and feelings,” said Imam Mujahid-Deen. “I never thought I’d be wearing a badge, but the role police chaplains play is very important. We help counsel officers and guide them through difficult situations.”

LAPD Police Chaplain Rushdan Mujahid-Deen

Imam Mujahid-Deen, who has a master’s degree in Divinity, also serves as an assistant Imam for Masjid Bilal Islamic Center, which is the oldest Muslim community in Los Angeles. The history between LAPD and Masjid Bilal has been long and tumultuous at times. 

However, in recent years the relationship has become quite friendly and genuine. LAPD officers have attended several Masjid Bilal events and have frequently called on Bilal’s leadership to assist police officials with understanding concerns of the LA Muslim community. This trend is something now being seen in many progressive law enforcement agencies nationwide.

However, in recent years the relationship has become quite friendly and genuine. LAPD officers have attended several Masjid Bilal events and have frequently called on Bilal’s leadership to assist police officials with understanding concerns of the LA Muslim community. This trend is something now being seen in many progressive law enforcement agencies nationwide.

“The Los Angeles Police Department are our friends and neighbors,” said Abdul Karim Hasan, resident Imam and executive director of Masjid Bilal Islamic Center. “Newton Division is just one block north of our Masjid and we depend on each other to keep our community safe and secure. We value that friendship.”

Police chaplains also play an important role for new LAPD graduates. Chaplain Mujahid-Deen met with the department's latest graduating class this week and answered questions they posed which included  dealing with bad officers.

“I told them, always remember why you became a police officer,” said chaplain Mujahid-Deen. “Maintaining your integrity is very important. Once you’ve lost that, you have lost everything.”

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