ALTON, Texas (KVEO) — The Alton Police Department implemented a new policy regarding the mental health of their police officers.
The department will now require its officers to speak with a licensed therapist for post-critical incidents and at least once a year, making sure the officers are caring for their mental health.
The new program called “Check Up From The Neck Up” will help with the trauma first responders see every day, allowing the officers to seek professional help when they need it.
“These officers are first responders and they’re going out and dealing with the worst of people at times and sometimes they see the best of people and all of that can take a toll throughout the course of their career and we want to make sure that they’re taking care of themselves,” said Chief Jonathan B. Flores, Alton Police Dept.
The department partnered up with Piña & Acosta Psychological Associates for the program.
“We want to make sure our officers are taking care of their mental health. Law enforcement suicides continue to rise year and after and we are doing our part as an administration to take care of our officers and reduce the stigma of officers receiving mental health if and when they are to need it,” said Chief Flores.
None of the information shared with the professional therapist will be shared with the police department.
Chief Flores said he hopes this will inspire other departments to do something similar.
The department also has the Alton Cares Chaplain Program where a chaplain is available 365 days a year to employees and their families.