DENVER — It is one of the most stressful jobs in America. Round-the-clock shifts, high divorce rate and it can be very dangerous.
When a fellow police officer is killed, the trauma resonates like a shock wave to those men and women who wear the badge.
For many in law enforcement, seeking help is perceived as a sign of weakness.
“It’s a concern that it will look bad on the record. It’s a concern that they might look bad in front of others, and partly they just don’t realize that counseling can help,” said Dr. Susan Heitler, a clinical psychologist in Denver who has treated many men and women in law enforcement.
Heitler said inroads to emotional help have been made, but there is still a long way to go.
“Emotional trauma response healing should be provided like physical healing is provided routinely for everyone who is out there protecting us and helping us in emergencies,” she said.