‘Backbone’ of the blue: Dickinson police support group launched – The Dickinson Press

On a daily basis, police officers are exposed to numerous calls for service and critical incidents which in turn can affect not only them, but also their families. As a newly formed organization, the City of Dickinson Auxiliary Police hopes to overcome this hurdle.

President Jamie Klauzer and Treasurer Jennifer Moser along with three other board members and 15-20 members make up the City of Dickinson Police Auxiliary, which is open to family members, spouses or significant others. other important persons sworn officers of the DPD. The organization recently held its first monthly meeting and is working to achieve non-profit status.

“I feel like it’s always been an idea that we’ve tossed around over time. I think there were other things, more informal groups that were created, this kind of coming and going where we all got together and then everyone got busy and then he got somehow dissolved. said Klauzer. “So it’s just something that we’ve always sort of thrown around that we should have a real formal band and I think we just started talking about it more and more.”

Over the past month, the City of Dickinson Auxiliary Police have kicked off a fundraiser with their DPD apparel sale called “Community Behind the Badge” which runs through Monday, October 18. Money raised will be used to support Dickinson police officers with education, training, supplies, equipment, meals when needed, police family events, employee retention, community social events and emotional support.

Klauzer noted that wives, loved ones and immediate family members of Dickinson police officers began thinking about other ways to support police families after last year’s DPD Christmas party by creating “a community of support and connection” within the police service.

“A bit about police officers is that they’re not the best communicators (on the right) once their shift is over,” Klauzer said, adding, “A lot of them want to go home (and) decompress. They don’t want to talk about the work day (or) what’s going on. So what we’ve noticed is that relaying information to your families if things were going on or things that were happening with other families, that would be a month later. (We would be) like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this person went through this and we didn’t send anything to them.’

For Moser, this organization will help incoming officers and their families become familiar with a new department, a new city and a new community.

“A lot of the families that come here are from out of state, they’re not necessarily from our direct community, so they don’t have a lot of family ties. So (by) just being that network so they’re like, ‘Hey, if you’re going through something, you can contact us.’ Or…any kind of support to make them feel welcome, that’s our goal as well,” Moser said.

From a wife and mother’s perspective, Klauzer noted that if you’re not from the area, it might be an adjustment to get familiar with child care, who’s the best doctor in town, which restaurants are the most popular or the types of community events that take place.

“If you don’t have that connection with other people who are able to welcome you into the community or engage you in something, then you get lost in the mix and find yourself in your own little bubble,” Klauzer said. said, adding: ‘And then I think that’s where we maybe see officers leaving. So that was another point of our whole group, you know, retaining good officers and their families here to integrate them into a community and support so that we can keep them here, that they fall in love with the community that we all love so much and being able to give back and support these families in any way.

The DPD support group would also provide emotional support to families, she added.

“It’s a very difficult job that police officers do every day and I think sometimes we just see one 15 second magnified incident happening but not really seeing all that goes with the job,” noted Klauzer. “A lot of officers are struggling with (what’s going on), and that in turn is affecting families. So (in) being able to provide support, we want to provide education for families, mental health awareness for police and families… (and) trainings for families and spouses around those things just to reinforce officers and their families in our community. ”

Growing up in a military family, Moser said being a police officer’s wife had the same “backbone” philosophy. Although police officers are out in public serving their communities every day, their families support them, especially during larger calls for service.

“For example (when there is) a shooting, this officer passes by, but this woman too. But we have to keep it together for the kids. Day to day, we still have to go to work and we still have to function and make sure everything is okay for this officer to heal,” Moser said.

Going forward, Klauzer said she hopes to partner with the police department with new recruits who show up by participating in the orientation process. This would allow new officers and their families to become aware of what is available to them from the start, she said.

In addition to partnering with DPD and its recruits, the City of Dickinson Auxiliary Police would like to set up something with the Dickinson Police Association, Moser added.

For families of DPD officers who wish to join or members of the community who wish to donate, email [email protected]

Virginia S. Braud