South Bend Police unveils new support team to help officer wellness

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- The South Bend Police Department unveiled a new support group this week. The South Bend Police Peer Support Team will help officers cope with traumatic incidents on the job.

The team is made up of 15 officers who were voted on by their peers. The officers went through 16 hours of wellness training before joining the team and will receive additional training throughout the year.

“Our officers see and go through a lot in their career, things most people will never go through in counting traumatic experiences,” said Keenen Lane, Wellness Coordinator for South Bend Police. “Hopefully this is an opportunity for officers to get them to open up and that’s going to help relieve that stress in the situations that we deal with.”

The team can meet anytime an officer feels it is needed but will automatically be called within 48 hours of a traumatic experience like a child being killed or an officer involved shooting.

“We need to be able to talk to others and make sure that we’re in check so when we go out to future calls that we can continue to do our job correctly and take care of those in our community who we love and support,” said Lane.

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