Trauma training for NYS law enforcement

By Kelly McCarthy

October 24, 2013 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 6:20 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Law enforcement from across the state joined together at the Broome County Sheriff's Office to learn how to cope with traumatic experiences on the job.

Thursday was the final day of a two-day training seminar to give law enforcement the tools they need to cope with a stressful job.

Tools ranged from recognizing warning signs of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, to learning which support services and counseling agencies can help.

"The purpose of this training is you try and raise a level of awareness first of all as to when someone may need help," said Mike Green, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, "And secondly, help bring the tools to the different police departments so they know what help is available, what can be done to support our police officers who are out there keeping us safe everyday."

The Broome County Sheriffs Office had one line of duty death in 2002. Deputy Kevin Tarsia was shot in killed when he came up on a group of men who had stolen guns. Sheriff David Harder said it took a toll on his deputies.

"Its something to watch out for, we do get depressed after a while," said David Harder, (R) Broome County Sheriff, "We deal with so much that's going on and there are family lives too that are affected and that's something we have to watch for."

Commissioner Green said improving community awareness is one tool everyone can participate in creating.

"I think sometimes we just take for granted that police are going to show up for work the next day, and the next day and think this is going to have no effect," Green said, "The reality is police officers are human, they do a great job, they deal with very difficult situations day in and day out and sometimes they need help."

More than 400 law enforcement professionals from eight counties attended the seminar.