Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office mourns loss of senior chaplain
Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen has announced the loss of the agency’s senior chaplain, Tom Burton. Burton had been fighting cancer and died on March 1 after a long, hard battle at home surrounded by his family and friends.
Burton was commissioned by former Sheriff Dan Stevens in 1992 to organize, recruit, train and implement a chaplaincy department for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. He served as a volunteer chaplain until becoming the fulltime chaplain in 2000. As the senior chaplain, Burton was responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of the employees and inmates of the agency. He also trained the volunteers that entered the jail, started Bible studies and conducted worship services. For the community he was called upon to assist with death notifications and critical incident debriefings.
In addition to his work at the sheriff’s office, Burton developed and organized a chaplains program for the community corrections work release program. He also started and pastored Christ Community Church of Hamilton County. With the assistance of former Sheriff Doug Carter, Burton was instrumental in the development and organization of a Spiritual Response Team for Hamilton County. He served on the National American Red Cross Spiritual Response Team, the International Conference of Police Chaplains Disaster Response Team and the Indiana Crisis Area Response Team. Burton served on the Hamilton County Mental Health Board, the Noblesville Mayor’s Advisory Board and the Riverview Hospital Chaplain’s Advisory Board, as well as being an integral part of the Sheriff’s Office Junior Law Enforcement Academy.
Funeral arrangements are pending.