Team of chaplains helping community cope with loss

WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) — A group of chaplains, which travels the country to assist after disasters, is helping the Westerville community cope with the loss of Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, formed after the September 11 attacks, is comprised of 2,500 chaplains.

Ten of those men and women are praying and lending support to those in Westerville, who need it.

“A lot of our work, probably half of our work, is just being here, standing next to people,” said Jeff Naber, a response team manager. “If we have opportunities to pray with people, that’s happened here several times in the last few minutes. We’re just here to help the community.”

Amongst the group of chaplains is Bill Snodgrass, a retired Jackson Township fire chief.

“We see this on the news,” he said. “We read this in the newspaper and we all go ‘well we want to pray for those people,’ but when it hits like this, it hits you in the heart.”

Many Westerville residents have expressed gratitude for the chaplains’ presence.

“The community’s hurting, so it’s a good thing to have them here,” said Westerville resident Susan Treer. “It was nice to have someone to pray with.”

According to Naber, the chaplains will stay in Westerville until at least Saturday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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