Connecticut State Police and different departments throughout the state are prioritizing the psychological well being and bodily well-being of their officers by providing distinctive sources and providers, together with peer assist packages and fitness center tools, so their officers can keep balanced and wholesome.
Former Hartford Police Chief James Rovella made it a purpose to spend money on the wellness of workers after being appointed commissioner of the state’s Division of Emergency Providers and Public Safety in 2019.
“It’s about, how do you preserve your highest-cost property?” he mentioned.
Rovella, recognized for making modifications to conventional policing, has overseen the implementation of sources and providers comparable to peer assist packages, train tools to remain energetic throughout the pandemic and the usage of emotional assist canine for six DESPP divisions, together with state police.
The company’s State Troopers Providing Peer Assist (STOPS) program permits officers to debate issues confidentially with specifically educated workers at an off-site location. This system additionally gives religious assist from chaplains.
Sergeant Christine Jeltema, the company’s wellness coordinator, says the company goals to offer monetary, bodily health and emotional assist to its workers as a part of a “holistic” strategy to wellness.
“We ensure that workers are well-rounded,” Jeltema informed CTNewsJunkie.com. “If somebody is having some sort of stressor, we need to get them assist.”
Along with peer assist providers, the company additionally presents six periods of free counseling with knowledgeable psychological well being clinician yearly.
Rovella has made use of asset forfeiture cash obtained throughout drug raids and grant cash to pay for the bodily train tools and emotional assist canine.
Commenting on the aim of the STOP program, Jeltema mentioned, “It’s for something that might trigger some sort of stress for the staff outdoors of labor. We attempt to take a look at the entire image and be proactive. If they’re having an issue with alcohol or anger administration, we need to get them assist.”
Supervisors may also refer workers who’re struggling to see a licensed a clinician affiliated with the division.
The STOP program consists of 74 troopers educated in peer-to-peer counseling, together with 17 chaplains to offer religious assist.
Rovella has additionally obtained a grant for $64,000 from the U.S. Division of Justice Neighborhood Oriented Policing Providers for additional coaching in peer assist, wellness and psychological well being for officer throughout the state. He says this system will permit each police division within the state to have a minimum of one officer educated in peer counseling.
“That is an funding into troopers, their households and DESPP workers,” he mentioned.