Police psychologists help officers cope with trauma

Posted at: 10/30/2013 10:37 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Police and deputies see some gruesome things on the job.  They're expected to keep that tough exterior while they work.  But we have learned there is someone there to help them get through it, even at the worst scenes.

Dr. Troy Rodgers heads up a team of police psychologists for the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.  He sent a crew out to the attack on officers this weekend.  It is just one of the traumatic scenes they have responded to this year. 

They are on call 24-7, just like the people they help.  Dr. Rodgers says several scenes still linger in his mind.  For example, the gruesome scene inside a south valley home back in January where a 15-year-old boy is accused of shooting and killing his family.    

Rodgers also said his team helped officers at the more recent event where police say two young boys saw their mother dragged and stabbed to death by their own father.

"When they go home at night and they take off their vest and take off their uniform, they're a human being like the rest of us," Dr. Rodgers said.  "They experience all of these things and a lot of times it can be overwhelming because they're not allowed to experience it at that point in time."

Dr. Rodgers says sometimes just talking through what happened helps the officers and deputies cope.