Lancers Live Loud: Captain Joel Beam
Have you ever searched far and wide for an answer that ended up being right in front of you the entire time? Captain Joel Beam of the Warsaw Police Department knows that feeling very well. Recently married to his wife, Shelby, Joel applied all over the country for a law enforcement job. It was something he knew he had wanted to do for quite a while.
In 1998, Joel was hired by the Winona Lake Police Department via a non-renewable grant. Knowing this wasn’t a permanent answer, he continued to look and apply. One year later he found himself interviewing against eighty other applicants for a position on the Warsaw Police force. He got the job.
The Job Isn’t an Easy One
Police officers see, hear, and do things that most people need not worry about. The risks are ever-present, and they face them head-on. Joel, now a Captain, and his Critical Incident Team are first responders to many difficult situations. Using his degree in psychology, Joel assists the people of our community as well as the other officers on his team. Knowing how to face the difficult and then face your family is not always a simple task.
Mental health concerns are always prevalent among law enforcement. Many officers struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, which often leads to depression. The divorce rate for those in law enforcement is 75-80%. There is always a need for someone to talk with and share the burden. Captain Beam is glad to have the necessary tools to assist his department. It also benefits him when he heads home each night.
Family is a Source of Strength
Joel was married less than three years when he accepted the position in Warsaw in 1999. The changes would continue to come his way. In 2001, Joel and Shelby celebrated their first-born, a boy they named Caleb. A few years later, they felt led to adopt a child. They received a call from the adoption agency in 2005 that their time had come. Just one day after he was born, they were able to bring home Isaac, a second son.
Captain Beam knows of the need for Jesus to be prevalent in law enforcement. It is a belief that stems from his home life. If a lack of spirituality is a major problem in law enforcement, Joel knows the solution. “Jesus Christ is the only answer to the problems and the evil we face on a daily basis.” This is why he takes time every day to pray over his officers. He asks for God’s guidance over his actions and the activity of his team.
The Foundation was Planted
While attending Grace College Joel took Police in American Society, a class taught by then-Police Chief Craig Allebach. It was during that class, and the requisite ride-alongs, when Joel knew what he wanted to do with his life. A 1996 graduate, Joel credits his professors at Grace with equipping him to view his occupation as more than just a job.
Our voice as a Christian must be heard. Our actions must match what people hear. As Christians, we are called to be in the world, regardless of our occupation. We need to be about the business of spreading Christ’s love to everyone with whom we are in contact.
Captain Beam believes he is called to do the biblical work of law enforcement. His double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology have served him well over twenty-one years as a law enforcement officer. Integrating his faith into his career is not something he does perfectly every day, but Joel prays for renewed strength each and every day.
Do you want to know how you can integrate your faith with your career? Grace College can prepare you for that.