Mental Health Resources Available To Tulsa Police Officers On The Job

Officers say traumatic situations like last week’s child sex abuse and homicide investigation can take a toll on their mental health. Mental health resources are available to Tulsa Police officers and the mental health coordinator for Tulsa Police, Capt. Shellie Seibert says a system to track what kind of calls officers are responding to.

Monday, February 13th 2023, 5:36 pm

By: Cal Day


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Mental health resources are available to Tulsa Police officers who respond to horrible situations, including murders and child abuse cases.

Officers say traumatic situations like last week’s child sex abuse and homicide investigation can take a toll on their mental health.  Officers who need to talk with someone have free counseling available to them. The department also uses peer counseling to help its officers.

As the mental health coordinator for Tulsa Police, Capt. Shellie Seibert has spent the past six years working to develop mental health resources for officers. This includes forming a team of officers to check in on one another. 

“We have about 86 trained peer-to-peer officers,” said Seibert. “Retired officers, dispatchers, and current officers are on that team, so they reach out to officers that may be struggling.”

Seibert says the group is deployed during traumatic events and played a big part in officers getting through the murder of Sargent Craig Johnson in the summer of 2020 and last June’s shooting at Saint Francis hospital.

They can also help officers with the everyday stress of the job. Seibert says there has been an increase in calls involving children. Officers may have to see firsthand the aftermath of children who have harmed themselves and child abuse cases.

“They may relate to their own personal trauma as a child, they may see their own children in those kids,” said Seibert. “That is commonly the thing that I hear about people struggling with.”

In addition to peer counseling, Seibert says there is a system in place to track what kind of calls officers are responding to. 

“If they have too many car collisions, if they have too many uses of force, if they get assaulted a lot on the job, these are things that we look at and we track,” said Seibert. “We make sure they have the training and the support they need.”

Seibert says supervisors are also learning about the warning signs to notice in people who may be going through something. If they notice the signs, they can ask the peer counseling team to reach out. 

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