WPD’s new training highlights officer wellness, care for other officers

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Law enforcement work daily to keep our community safe by responding to calls that are at times, dangerous and stressful. But what about keeping fellow officers safe? It’s the theme behind new training within the Wichita Police Department.     

KSN talked to the first officers going through the exercise.

The officers we talked to are new faces within the department who you may see on the streets or on a call. They told KSN they’re thankful for the support and reminder to care for yourself and others wearing the badge.

Duty to intervene is a new course with the hope of officers taking an awareness to the streets.

“Had a call that involved a two month old, it was really difficult at first because I took that call home because I have a six month old,” said Officer Austin Fields, Wichita Police.

“I’ve worked several shop-lifts and they all have been just a little different and sometimes that little bit of a difference can make it challenging,” said Officer Kevin Diemer, Wichita Police.

These are two new Wichita Police officers.

But Friday’s training on making sure you and fellow officers are mentally and physically strong is a requirement for all and there’s a reason behind that.                          

“I’ve watched a lot of people suffer, I watched them suffer personally, suffer with work, and I’ve seen career ends that shouldn’t have,” said Sergeant Kenneth Kimble, Wichita Police.

They talked about the importance of eating healthy, exercising, and checking on others who may be struggling after an incident, like the death of Deputy Robert Kunze.

“You see that in the news and of course your family always worries about you everyday you work…it is a reminder of how important our job is and how dangerous our job can be.,” said Officer Diemer.

“He had a huge impact in the community and he did his job very well, but we want officers to know that you can get past that for as bad as it was,” said Sergeant Kimble.

Sergeant Kimble says it’s training that may be helpful now or in the future.

“You may be fine today, but six months from now something may happen, and you might not be fine,” said Sergeant Kimble.

Sergeant Kimble also mentioned the importance of the department’s Critical Incident Stress Management team for officers. He says it’s so critical they don’t let officers fall through the cracks, and help them through difficult times.

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