Max Yospe's departure from the Salt Lake City Police Department ends an era of remarkable service to the city's lawmen and their families.
Yospe lost his job recently to budget cuts. Since his retirement in 1983, Yospe has worked part-time as the administrator of the volunteer police chaplain program.That program was his baby - a unique baby. When it was established in 1978, there was no program like it in the United States. Yospe brought community and religious leaders together to map out a chaplaincy that would provide around-the-clock service to the community by local clergy from several denominations.
Yospe had a heart suited to such work. He knew how to create and administer a program of compassionate service because he spent a life in service.
He worked as a police officer with the SLCPD. He became known as a man who sought out opportunities to serve. When he worked in the department's youth division, he didn't just retrieve and manage troubled youth, he counseled them.
In 1969, at the request of the SLCPD, The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appointed Yospe as a chaplain.
Yospe spent 13 years as the department's only chaplain before creating a multi-denominational army of chaplains who offer a continuous expression of charity.
After Yospe retired in 1983, he continued to provide compassionate service. Working part-time for the department, he often counseled victims and consoled the families of deceased persons. It was often Max's job to go tell a family that one of their members was dead. He counseled police officers and their families. He reached out to retired officers, helping them through the early slump of retirement. Marital problems, financial problems, difficulties in rearing children - it didn't matter what it was, Yospe was there for his men.
"Max is a unique individual," said Major Ed Johnson, acting SLCPD chief. "Cutting his salary was one of the sad things we had to do. He is a very caring person. He cared for the young, the elderly and the police family. Not only will I miss him as a chaplain and coordinator, I will miss him as as friend."
Yospe's service to the community will continue to be felt for many years to come.