By Leah Sander
WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office is working on having more clear-cut rules on helping officers recover from critical incidents.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Merit Board heard that news from Sheriff Kyle Dukes. He said the office is working on having specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to the issue.
He and county 911 Director Sarah Lancaster met with Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory Chief Mike Wilson, who runs the critical incident stress management team in the county. The sheriff’s office has looked at the SOPs WWFT and other sheriff’s offices have related to helping their employees recover after dealing with more stressful emergency scenes.
The county critical incident stress management team recently helped the sheriff’s office in helping officers debrief who had dealt with a child death case, said Dukes.
Dukes also noted wives of officers had supported the focus on critical incident mental health support.
“They’re on board with it 100% and want their husbands to go through some debriefing, so it’s been well-supported,” he said.
In other business, the board:
- Heard from Dukes that Sgt. Travis Shively is at deescalation instructor school this week.
- Learned the sheriff’s office is in the process of hiring for an officer position, with there being 15 people who had applied. That’s since narrowed down to eight to nine people.
- Heard from Dukes that the office is working on filling three positions at the jail.
- Heard from Dukes that as of the meeting there were 249 people in the jail and that as of Tuesday, Aug. 10, there were 78 at work release.