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Program for the Reduction of Stress for New York City Police Officers and Their Families, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1998
74 pages
This report describes the development and operation of a volunteer peer support program funded by a National Institute of Justice Grant to expand and further develop a program to reduce stress among New York City police officers and their families.
The program expanded the Members Assistance Program established by the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in response to the 21 police suicides in New York City in 1994 and 1995. The program resources included the New York City Police Department, the New York City Council, the five police unions, police families, and mental health practitioners. The program used components from other model projects, together with four unique elements: (1) the use of volunteer peer support officers; (2) the creation of a database of mental health clinicians trained on issues experienced by police personnel and their families; (3) the establishment of a 24-hour help line; and (4) interagency and public-private collaborations. Central factors in the program’s success include the creation of new agency policies and the development of new resources designed especially for police officers. The program has trained 150 police officers as volunteer peer support officers, 26 police officers as volunteer family support officers, and 60 mental health practitioners. It has presented 16 workshops to family members, distributed marketing flyers to family members and police officers, and made 350 marketing presentations to police officers. Achievements include a reduction of 39 percent in the number of police suicides in 1997-98, 1,500 telephone calls on the help line, 600 referrals to mental health clinicians, 227 family members participating in family support seminars, and 85 mental health professionals enrolled in the database. Figures

Date Published: December 1, 1998