Peer Support Team Program Comes to Shawnee Police Dept.
Shawnee, Oklahoma, December 21, 2023 – It is a known fact that first responders are asked to provide safety and security for community members on their worst day. Trying to save those involved, while participating in high-stress scenarios that sometimes contain threats of personal injury, may eventually take its toll. So, who ensures a sense of stability for those on the front line who are consistently dealing with such life-changing calls?
Having worked for Shawnee Police Department since 2016, Corporal Rich Rider has firsthand knowledge of just how integral a Peer Support Team can be. Such teams are committed to helping their law enforcement colleagues manage the stress of the job in a healthy way. Cpl. Rider gained his Critical Incident Stress Management certification in January, which allows him to immediately assist his brothers and sisters on the force in their time of need.
After doing intensive research, Cpl. Rider started the grant writing process to secure funding to support this endeavor. He was recently awarded $5,000 by the TFCU Foundation, which will be matched by the Shawnee Police Foundation. The financial assistance will give officers the opportunity to confidentially obtain outside professional support services at no cost. Officers who participate in the program are able to choose from resources that are categorized by specializations.
Due to the generous support from the TFCU Foundation and the Shawnee Police Foundation, this program will strengthen the peer support network, create a safe space for officers to discuss stress and seek help, offer immediate CISM interventions post-trauma, reduce stigma and encourage officers to seek mental health support, and create a culture of mutual support in the office and out in the field.
For more information, contact Shawnee Police Department Public Information Officer, Vivian Lozano at email@example.com.