Blue Backbone: Dickinson Police Support Group Launched
President Jamie Klauzer and Treasurer Jennifer Moser along with three other board members and 15-20 members make up the Dickinson Town Police Auxiliary, which is open to family members, spouses or loved ones. sworn officers of the DPD. The organization recently held its first monthly meeting and is working towards achieving its nonprofit status.
“I feel like it’s always been an idea that we have launched over time. I think there were other things, more informal groups that were formed, that kind of back and forth where we all got together, and then everyone would get busy and then it would dissolve into somehow. so, ”Klauzer says. “So it’s just something that we’ve always kind of started out that we should be a real, formal group of and I think we’ve just started talking about it more and more.”
Over the past month, the Dickinson Town Auxiliary Police have launched a fundraiser with their DPD clothing sale called “Community behind the badge” until Monday, October 18. Money raised will be used to support Dickinson Police Officers with education, training, supplies, equipment, meals when needed, police family events, police employee retention, social events, community events and emotional support.
Klauzer noted that the wives, relatives and immediate family members of the officers in Dickinson began to think about other ways to support the families of the officers after the DPD Christmas party last year by creating ” a supportive community ”within the police service.
“A little bit about cops is that they’re not the best communicators (right) after their shift is over,” Klauzer said, adding: “A lot of them want to come home (and) decompress. They don’t want to talk about the work day (or) what’s going on. So what we noticed is that passing information to your families if things were going on or things with other families, that would be a month later. (We) would say, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe this person went through this and we didn’t send him anything.’ ”
For Moser, this organization will help new officers and their families become familiar with a new department, a new town and a new community.
“A lot of the families that come here are from out of state, they don’t necessarily come 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 definitely our goal too,” Moser said.
From a wife and mother perspective, Klauzer noted that if you are not from the area, it may be an adjustment to familiarize yourself with day care, who is 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 be a part of something, then you kind of get lost in the mix and end up in your own little bubble.” Klauzer said, adding: “And then I think that’s where maybe we see officers go. So that was another point of our whole group, you know how to keep the good officers and their families here to be part of 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 the police do every day and I think sometimes we just see … a 15 second magnified incident that happens but without really seeing everything that goes with the job,” noted Klauzer. “A lot of officers struggle with (what’s going on), and that in turn affects families. So (by) being able to provide support, we want to provide education for families, mental health awareness of police officers and families… (and) trainings for families and spouses around these things just to reinforce police officers and their families in our community. ”
Growing up in a military family, Moser said being the wife of a police officer had the same “basic” philosophy. Although police officers are in public every day of service to their community, their families support them, especially on the highest calls for service.
“For example (when there is) a shootout, this officer goes by, but so does this woman. 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 that everything is fine for this officer to heal, ”Moser said.
Looking ahead, Klauzer said she hoped to partner with the police department with any new hires who come forward as part of the orientation process. This would allow new officers and their families to realize what is available to them from the start, she said.
In addition to the partnership with DPD and his recruits, the Dickinson Town Police Auxiliary would like to set up something with the Dickinson Police Association, Moser added.
For families of DPD officers wishing to join or community members wishing to donate, send an email to [email protected]