Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, an Episcopal Church-related organization in South Carolina, commissioned Eddie Driggers as a staff chaplain on August 10 during a service at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, North Charleston, in the Diocese of South Carolina.
Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy was founded in 1990 by the Rev. Rob Dewey, an Episcopal priest, as a police chaplaincy program. It has since expanded its services and now responds to situations in the greater Charleston area that involve homicide, suicide, water and traffic fatalities, hostage situations, and emergency responders or their family members who might be hurt or killed. Dewey continues to serve as its senior chaplain.
Driggers retired from the Charleston County sheriff’s office in 2006 after a 31-year career in law enforcement. He has an associates degree in criminal justice and has received training in hostage negotiations and peer counseling. He is certified as an instructor in pastoral crisis intervention. Driggers is an active member of St.Thomas Episcopal Church where he has served as junior warden, lay reader, children’s church leader and volunteer youth leader and Sunday school teacher.
"He is as good a man as I know," said Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon, who participated in the service. "He is very even-tempered and a calming influence, which I think is ideal for this kind of position. He will bring great understanding to that post."
The Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy responds to over 600 emergency calls per year through local agencies ranging from the Coast Guard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to local police and fire departments. In addition to Dewey and Driggers, CCC has 15 volunteer chaplains who are prepared to deal with a wide variety of crisis situations, freeing police, firefighters and agency personnel to concentrate on other needs.