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Mental health a priority for police after traumatic scene last week

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 6:46 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - On any given day a Toledo Police officer might have to deal with a domestic violence call, a deadly accident, or even a murder. Last Friday, TPD had to deal with the shooting of three young children, two of whom ended up dying.

Scenes like that can take a toll on officers and cause PTSD.

“We are human, we are moms and dads, and a lot of us a very young,” Lt. Kellie Lenhardt said. “So we’re taking kids fresh out of college and putting them on the streets and putting them in the scenario and it’s heart-wrenching and it takes a toll on them on day one, and you’re 20 on the job.”

Within 72 hours, TPD held a critical incident debriefing to help officers cope.

“It’s not a recap of what we did right or what we did wrong, it’s just what we did at the scene,” Lenhardt said. “Who’s feeling what, and how they can help.”

Officers can show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, like depression and suicide. They’re allowed to take days off to deal with those feelings.

“The people in the community don’t know that they just had this traumatic experience. So it’s important that officers are 100% ready to go so that they are able to make those quick decisions and best decisions so that everybody is safe.”

The Toledo Fire Department also held a critical incident stress debriefing after the deadly shooting.

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