Ryan Sharp and Rocky Stone Excited to Serve as Menifee PD’s First Chaplains
One man launched and leads a church located “a stone’s throw” from the new Menifee Police Department station on Haun Road. The other is an ex-Army officer who actively sought out Menifee Police Chief Pat Walsh for inclusion in his fast-forming department.
Walsh describes Ryan Sharp and Rocky Stone as his “chaplain core,” and he’s glad to have both men onboard as his first-ever volunteer police chaplains. Because in Walsh’s words, “not just anybody can be a chaplain for a police department.”
“Their job is to come alongside our employees and help them through some of the more difficult stuff that we see,” explains Walsh. “They’ll come out, share a cup of coffee, just help them process what they’ve seen. They might even go on a ride-along with officers. I’ve found it helps police officers to have a few people to really open up with — to be a shoulder to lean on, a sounding board, pray with them if they want to. It’s really important to keep our officers even-keeled and on track.”
A Menifee resident since 2010, Sharp serves as the founder and pastor of Impact Church, an energetic non-denominational Christian community he launched in 2015. Sharp is quick to cite his love for Menifee and its people, hailing “a unifying sense of pride in our city and a shared excitement about the direction we’re headed.”
“Menifee is a great community with a solid foundation and limitless opportunities for growth,” says Sharp. “The new police department is a great example of this. It’s a privilege to serve as one of the first chaplains for the department.”
Stone is newer to Menifee, having arrived in the summer of 2019 — and met and engaged with the charismatic Chief Walsh soon after. The Riverside native serves as the Campus Pastor of non-denominational Christian Sandals Church Menifee, located just off I-215 and only a few miles from the police station itself. A father to four boys, Stone has been active in ministry for seven years since he transitioned out of the military. It didn’t take him long to develop a strong affinity for Menifee and its people.
“I can tell you this is the safest and kindest community that I’ve ever lived in,” says Stone “My wife Nicole and I have loved every minute of living here. The parks are exceptional, the people are warm, and there’s lots of activities and food establishments to keep us busy, entertained and eating well. Everyone from the top down in city government is actively involved in bettering the city and its residents.”
Both men will start their new positions on July 1, 2020 — the same day the department’s 60-plus sworn officers and support staff officially report for duty for the first time. Both also sound excited to work with Walsh, who excels at engendering enthusiasm among everyone he works with.
“I met Chief Walsh shortly after he was hired, and I can’t speak highly enough about him,” says Sharp. “He personifies the rare blend of excellence in law enforcement and relationship with the community. His care for people is genuine, and he goes out of his way to meet people and hear their stories.”
“Chief Walsh seems like an exceptional leader,” adds Stone. “He takes time to listen to everyone he’s around, and I think the city is lucky to have him at the helm. I’ve started to get to know the two Captains and two of the Lieutenants, also. They’ve all been very welcoming.”
Walsh himself says he is equally excited to have both men onboard.
“Rocky came to me and said he really wants to help,” recalls Walsh. “He served in the military, so he gets the camaraderie we’re building here at the department. Ryan is super gregarious, and doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. So I know he’ll help us out immediately.”
Walsh is also looking forward to letting both men carve out their own unique niche within the fast-forming department.
“I told Rocky and Ryan I was going to leave it up to them to onboard people,” says Walsh. “I want to get them to some chaplain training that teaches them how to deal with trauma, tragedy, police procedures. These guys will play an important role for our staff at the police department.”