Since 2008, Mike Dyer has been a Peer Support Officer in POPPA, Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance. Started in 1995 when 26 officers had committed suicide within two years, POPPA’s motto is, “They listen, talk, and assist their fellow officer, when required, in securing the right professional services.”
When a fatality occurs, the cops are called. For every fatality there are first responders, then other units that respond, supervisors are called out, maybe accident investigators. Every cop who shows up has a brand new set of nightmares to add to their own personal list.
What do you remember? The smell, the temperature, the lighting, the body?
Something very vivid just popped back into your memory like it happened yesterday.
You see things that are traumatic. These traumatic events that you’ve experienced in the past can have a singular or cumulative effect of causing you stress.
They affect everyone, no one is immune. It changes how you used to think of situations because you’ve seen what can go wrong.
There’s a FREE mobile app that POPPA put out, made by Cops, for Cops. There are 24 different videos and tests on the app. It’s a tool to help cops identify hidden levels of stress that may be impacting you, your family and your ability to be the best cop that you can be. This is something you can look at to better understand why you think the way you think, how other Cops deal with stress and some other tools available to you. They also have a full episode of Car 54.
Confidentiality is one of the keys to POPPA’s success. Any tests you take will not be saved. If you start to take one of the tests and don’t complete it, you have to start again. Looking at the app and doing something about what you find would be completely up to you.