LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Police Officers got a different kind of training today, but it was no less important than tactical training.
Robert White, a retired deputy chief from Flagstaff, Arizona, met with officers for "emotional survival" training at the LITE Center.
"We're going to be teaching them some keys to emotional survival," White tells KATC. "There is a very high suicide rate in the law enforcement world. Police officers are about 8 to 10 times more likely to take their own life then they are to take somebody else. So what are things we can do to address that."
It's part of the department's goal to train officers in all aspects of policing.
"Emotional survival training explores the psychological changes in officers caused by exposure to tragic, negative and violent events," spokeswoman Cpl. Bridgette Dugas explains. "This training provides officers with techniques and strategies to maintain a healthy family life outside of work and coping with the emotional toll the career can have on an individual's mental health.
The chief wants to be sure officers are tactically trained, but mental health and emotional survival go hand in hand with the overall health of a good police officer."
It's never easy to be a police officer, but these days it may be more difficult, he said. That's not to say that accountability isn't critical, he adds.
"There is a lot of stuff going on nationally. So how do we get people back onto an even keel and to ensure that, at least I do personally, believe that they are still very well supported in this country but as time change sometimes we have to change," he said. "And the issue about holding each other accountable is something we want to stress about as well."