Date: March 9, 2018


SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) announced the formation of its new Chaplaincy program today and appointed Lance Emma as the Head Chaplain to support OCDA staff.

“We carry a great responsibility to uphold public safety and pursue justice and while doing so, we must witness visuals and facts when prosecuting cases and comforting victims,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Because we can’t unsee or unknow terrible facts, our new Chaplaincy program will be a meaningful addition to the OCDA along with existing resources.”

Today, District Attorney Rackauckas appointed Lance Emma as the Head Chaplain of the OCDA. Emma has served in full-time ministry in churches and non-profit organizations since 1989. He became an ordained minister in 2005 while working at Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, California.

Emma is currently the general manager of KWVE 107.9 FM. He also serves as an assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, as well as the Communications Director for a non-profit humanitarian relief organization. He has been married to his wife, Angie, for 24 years. Together they have three sons, and reside in Orange County, California.

"With the unique stresses the men and women of the OCDA face on a daily basis in the course of their service to the people of Orange County, the Chaplaincy program is a proven model to provide care and support and it is my distinct honor to serve in this capacity," Emma remarked.

About OCDA’s Chaplaincy Program:

Case studies of major incidents involving numerous injuries or fatalities reveal that significant numbers of emergency personnel experience some form of stress-related symptoms following the incident. Many of these symptoms are transitory and most personnel have no long-term detrimental effects. These studies, however, also reveal that a small percentage of personnel do experience some form of long-term detrimental effects resulting from exposure to such incidents. Some of these effects are delayed, surfacing later after a period of no apparent symptoms. Without professional intervention, these personnel experience declining work performance and deterioration of family relationships, as well as increased health problems. The purpose of a chaplain’s services is two-fold:

  • To provide a chaplain service for the OCDA Chaplaincy in coordination with existing Employee Assistance Program.
  • To provide care for community members who have experienced a community trauma in association with the comprehensive OCDA services.

The goal of a chaplain service for OCDA employees is to assist in helping individuals cope with the inordinate level of stress they encounter while serving the County’s trauma needs. Traumatic and stressful events/incidents can produce physical and emotional challenges, which adversely affect one’s effectiveness on the job as well as at home.

With this goal in mind, OCDA Chaplain(s) provides critical incident stress management support in relation to vocational stress. The program will not to be used as a forum for proselytizing (recruitment to a new faith) and is not meant to replace an individual’s clergy and/or other counseling programs available through the OCDA/County. The chaplain service does not exist to compete with, but rather to complement, the existing resources. In addition, all chaplain services are rendered free of charge as the OCDA Chaplain(s) serve the department as volunteers.

The Chaplain is one of the most vital positions within law enforcement agencies across the county. It is a position that is demanding, confidential, trusting, and essential for the lives of law enforcement personnel and their families. The OCDA Chaplaincy Program will serve as an invaluable resource and support system for all OCDA staff, who dedicate themselves each day to enhancing public safety through the vigorous enforcement of criminal and civil laws in a just, honest, and ethical manner.