Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 2, 2021

HCSO gets federal grant to support employee mental health

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the Department of Justice has awarded the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office a mental health and wellness grant to enhance the services it offers its employees.

The HCSO is one of only 41 recipients nationally to receive the $98,572 grant.

The HSCO will use the grant to develop a peer support program and provide deputies with mental health and wellness training opportunities over the next two years.

As part of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, Congress authorized the COPS office to establish peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies.

“This grant represents an unprecedented opportunity for our law enforcement community to help those in our ranks live healthier, happier lives,” Sheriff Jim Hammond says.

“Being a law enforcement officer is one of the most difficult jobs a person can have, and the daily stresses and mental fatigue can be difficult for even the strongest individuals,” Hammond continues. “This grant will improve our ability to support our personnel in their time of need and ensure their mental health and wellness is a top priority.”

The HCSO’s peer support program will consist of a group of trained employees who will buoy their co-workers during times of professional or personal crisis and serve as wellness mentors.

In addition, the HSCO will open its mental health and wellness training events to law enforcement throughout the region, which will facilitate the development of a regional network of peer supporters.

“This award provides us with a tremendous opportunity to invest in the mental health and well-being of our law enforcement officers,” says Jonathan Parker, HCSO chaplain and peer support program coordinator. “The last year has shown us the immense sacrifice these heroes make every day in service to our community, and they deserve the best in return.”

Source: HSCO