We had statewide peace officers from all ranks join us in meaningful conversations around their specific needs for officer wellness.
The biggest challenges mentioned were officer suicides, public opinion, and not having enough time or space to decompress, rest, and recover. The biggest needs for an officer wellness program mentioned were a law enforcement culture change to talk openly about these serious issues, rank-specific support, and confidentiality.
Huge thank you to our facilitators: Chief Kenton Rainey (University of Chicago Police Department), Sgt. Kelly Kruger (San Francisco Police Department), and Sgt. Sean Vickers (Riverside County Sheriff’s Department).
One of the participants shared, “Just like there is an annual physical each year there should be a ‘check-up from the neck up’ each year. The reality is after seeing and dealing with what we do everyday, it changes us and departments are too afraid of having to spend the money (paying a disability pension). As a result, we send broken officers out into a cruel world. The results are what we are seeing playing out before us seemingly everyday.”
Find out more about our COPE training program with the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to provide police officers with mental health support.