Help is available for stressed police

I write in response to Michael Sherry’s very eloquent and heartfelt May 31 My View. His reflections on the work and family life of police officers will hopefully be read and appreciated by many, both in the law enforcement and civilian communities. I concur with much of Sherry’s view, but wish to comment on a point of disagreement.

The supportive hug of a spouse or your child is truly medicinal and without equal, especially after an extremely stressful shift. However, there is no shame in asking for help, especially when the horrors of an incident, the pain of alcohol or substance abuse, threats of suicide or the trigger of a military experience threaten to end a marriage, alienate your children or further damage an otherwise stellar law enforcement career.

I have seen the value of prevention, and the results of assisting an officer or family member to confidential help, either through the department Employee Assistance Program or another resource such as the Western New York Police Helpline.

I do know that the Police Academy now offers “stress inoculation” training, family night and the explanation of our Western New York Police Helpline and the benefits it can offer.

Sherry can enjoy his retirement and be proud that his son received an outstanding introduction to “stress inoculation training” and the Western New York Police Helpline in the academy, where topics such as stress management, relationship issues, work/life balance and line of duty death were very professionally addressed.

Should any police officer ever need assistance for a work/family concern, I am confident the warm embrace of a family member and/or the confidential assistance of a cop to cop program like Western New York Police Helpline will be right there to help.

Deborah A. Hard