The New York Police Department has hired a 24-year-old Muslim leader to become the Islamic chaplain for the thousands of Muslims in the department, officials announced yesterday.

Khalid Latif is the second Islamic chaplain ever hired by the police.

“Because of the life-and-death nature of police work, the role of the chaplain in the police department takes on specific importance,” the Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “At the bedsides of police officers wounded in the line of duty and regrettably, all too often, at the sides of family members after a police officer has been killed in the line of duty.”

During his time as an undergraduate at New York University, where he majored in Middle Eastern Studies, Mr. Latif served as a leader of NYU’s Islamic Center. Since graduating, he has worked as a volunteer chaplain for NYU’s 1,000 Muslims and is paid as the chaplain for Princeton University’s 300 Muslims. He has a master’s degree from Hartford Seminary.

The NYPD chaplain position is part time, and Mr. Latif will continue working at both universities, Mr. Kelly said.

“It is my hope that I can use this position to educate not only the members of the New York City police department about truly what mainstream Islam stands for, but also the New York community as a whole,” Mr. Latif said.

Mr. Latif will be on call 24 hours a day to counsel Muslim officer and employees. He will also work with the Community Affairs Bureau to reach out to Muslim communities in the city.

The department’s first chaplain, Imam Pasha, left more than a year ago.


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