I had a chance to interview three people who are involved in the Evansville Indiana Police Department’s Peer Support and Family Support Groups. I spoke with Police Chief Brad Hill, Sgt. Dave Barron and his wife Lori Barron in what proved to be a very informative interview.
Sergeant Barron was involved in a fatal shooting in 2003 and was then instrumental in the creation of the the department’s Peer Support Team. Because of what happened to her husband and it’s effects on her and other members of their family Lori, who is a cardiac rehab nurse, was involved in starting the Family Support Group for their Police Department. Chief Brad Hill, a 29-year veteran of the Evansville Police Department, was sworn in to office as chief in January 2004 and has been instrumental in the development of both teams through his support and leadership.
If you are considering starting either or both of these kinds of groups for your department you might ask yourself:
How does your department support officers involved in a shooting?
What about other traumatic events like the injury of an officer or their partner, how do you support them then?
How do you handle the effects of major natural disasters or mass injury accidents on the members of your department?
Do you provide support to officers who have handled cases of injured or murdered children?
What about the family of those officers involved in any of the events mentioned above?