Truly blessed, meet Rev. Herman Pollard who not only serves a higher power but also the Ledyard Police.
It has been a busy but very enjoyable 17 years for Pollard who works at the Ledyard Police Department as it's custodian and Police Chaplain.
"I don't think of it as work, I think of it as going to my friends house to do something,” he said at an interview inside his office at the police department.
Pollard works at the station part time and said that police officers aren’t too hard to clean up after and that for the most part, they keep things pretty clean when he’s around.
“The officers here have accepted me as part of their police family,” he said. “I just marvel at that.”
Soon after retiring from Pfizer, where he worked for 32 years and after the loss of his wife, Herman decided that he needed to break out of his funk. Seeing an ad for a custodian in the paper he applied and after a little praying he was hired. In 2000 he was asked to become the Ledyard Police Chaplin, which he was very happy and honored to do.
In that capacity Pollard has been called upon several times to accompany officers as they perform death notifications at all hours of the day and night. He has also married six to seven of the officers and dispatchers, performed eulogies for passing family members and baptized their children.
Pollard survived a heart attack in 2007, during which he died in the back of the ambulance. He said he died briefly, “not too long,” and that he experienced an “extreme amount of peace” during that period. The experience made him realize the brevity of life and “that it’s about being happy in life.”
Pollard was back at work within months.
“I work because I like what I’m doing," he said. “I do it because it makes me happy.”
Pollard has earned his Associates Degree from Mitchell College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Counseling from Kingsway Christian College and Theological Seminary and certificates in Ministry from the Hartford Seminary.
Pollard puts all this to work as a Pastor at the St. James Episcopal Church in New London, which he and his wife Rev. Joyce Pollard are co-pastors.
Pollard said his favorite part of his job is being able to spread peace and joy to officers at work. And far as his beliefs go, he doesn't enter into conversations about God or the bible while at work and waits for officers to initiate the conversations first. He said he’s willing to go the whole way once he gets going.
One of his fondest memories is that of his ordination in 2000. The late Mayor Wesley Johnson Sr. swore in Pollard during a ceremony held at the police station. He said the best thing about the ceremony was that every police officer came to the see him sworn in and attended his reception afterward.
“It’s rare because police don’t get caught up in religion but they were there to support me in my endeavor,” he said. “I was taken back, that was just beautiful.”
Although his church takes up most of his time where he preaches, plays the organ and piano, teaches and is the custodian he says he has no plans to retire, but he'll think about it “someday.”
Pollard lives in Preston and has two sons; the youngest is a lawyer and he has a granddaughter who's a freshman at Yale University. You can meet Herman and his wife Rev. Joyce Pollard at the In His Presence Ministries at St. James on Sundays at 11:30 and during Bible study on Wednesdays at 6:30.