WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The Wilmington Police Department will soon have a new peer support program, according to Deputy Police Chief Mitch Cunningham.
"It's a fairly frequent approach around the country," said Cunningham who explained the program is designed to give support to officers involved in traumatic events.
Cunningham said the program will consist of four officers and one coordinator. All of the participants will come from within the WPD.
"It's something I've been familiar with in my previous career with an agency up in D.C. area and I wanted to bring that same kind of support to officers," Cunningham said.
The deputy chief said the implementation of the program is not in response to any recent officer-involved shootings. Furthermore, he said the process will not interfere with any psychological treatment already provided to officers through the city.
"It's more relational, and less therapeutic," he stated. "I've just seen it so positively impact people who go through a difficult time to have people come along side of them and work through some difficult issues."
Cunningham said the officers involved in the program will require training. He explained the training will come with a cost, but does not expect it to be much.
The deputy chief said this program has already been going on in an informal manner within the department. Now it is being formalized and they are currently in the officer selection process.
Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.