FDLE hosts first-ever mental health seminar for Florida officers

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2024
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is hosting Florida’s first-ever Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) later this week in St. Lucie County.  The program was developed by FDLE, Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA), Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) and other state law enforcement agencies.
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said, “In Florida, our officers are heroes and we must do all we can to protect them, both physically and emotionally.  Florida’s first-ever mental health seminar for law enforcement and correctional officers will help heal the trauma these officers have experienced while on-duty.”
FDLE Deputy Commissioner Matt Walsh said, “Florida’s Post Critical Incident Seminar is an evidence-based, three-day mental health program promoting recovery and resiliency.  This seminar offers a new and better life for our officers and their families who need it most.” 
FSA President, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said, “Upholding a culture that prioritizes the well-being of our law enforcement personnel is a fundamental commitment. When they are mentally and physically healthy, they can perform their duties more effectively, make better decisions, and build stronger relationships with the communities they serve. Through this seminar, we are sending a clear message to all of our heroes that they are valued and supported as they make the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of our communities.”
FPCA President Clermont Police Chief Charles “Chuck” Broadway said, “Healthy police officers result in better policing. Unfortunately, the mental health concerns of those who keep the rest of us safe have historically been overlooked. The Post Critical Incident Seminar initiative will be an important step in changing that for the better. On behalf of The Florida Police Chiefs Association, we look forward to the day when every law enforcement professional struggling with past trauma has the knowledge and resources available to recover from their injuries and continue to do the job they love, serving the people of Florida.”
The seminar is offered at no cost to law enforcement and correctional officers statewide.  Spouses are also invited to attend.
PCIS is a peer-based program.  Peer-to-peer assistance will be accompanied by clinical staff to assist participants in finding healthy ways to cope with stress. The seminar is for officers who have experienced a critical incident, or an accumulation of traumatic events over their careers.
The seminar will provide education on trauma, patterns of resolution and evidenced-based coping strategies that promote recovery and resilience.
In Florida, 41 current and former law enforcement and correctional officers died by suicide in 2021.  In 2022, the number rose to 48.  This program is designed to intervene with those who are hurting and hopeless. Peer support is an important element of the PCIS. Discussion of incidents with fellow officers who have "been there" promotes normalization and recovery.
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

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FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.