BENTONVILLE, Ark. – In most professions, there is some level of stress.
However, the demand of a law enforcement position leads to extremely high levels of stress on a daily basis.
That’s why the Bentonville Police Department is rolling out a Resource Advocacy Program to address the physical and mental needs of its officers.
“They aren’t taking care of themselves sometimes,” Officer Gene Page from the Bentonville Police Department said. “They are used to taking care of everyone else.”
Police officers are on the front-lines every day.
“Because of this persona that I have to be superman or superwoman, we aren’t doing a good enough job of taking care of our own health,” Officer Gene Page said.
Officer Gene Page – from the Bentonville Police Department – noticed limited resources for his 76 officers when it comes to coping with pressure.
“It could be things in their personal life, financial needs, family needs all on top of what they already see at their job,” Officer Page. “We don’t want that to carry over into their job. “
Every case is confidential.
“I say to them you are running into danger for us but when you come out, who is there for you?” Social Worker Mary Schulz said.
That’s when social worker Mary Schulz steps in.
“I know the community,” Mary Schulz said. “I know where the crisis centers are, inpatient units are, where the food banks are, where the resources are in the community. They don’t have those contacts, but I know them.”
The goal of the program – to keep police officers on the job for the long haul.
“Think of it as a glass of water,” Officer Page said. “Every time they take a call, that glass fills up and fills up and if they aren’t tipping that off now and then, at some point it’s going to overflow. We don’t want that to have that happen when they are deciding between life and death.”
Bentonville Police say this is only stage one. It is in the works of creating an official non-profit organization for the program.