Officer Safety Corner: A Trusted Perspective: A Peer Support and Outreach System for Chiefs

Being in the middle of a TV-style gun battle as a law enforcement officer is rare—and even rarer when you are a chief. Nonetheless, Chief Tim Fournier of New Hope, Minnesota, found himself in the thick of one when a gunman opened fire in a crowded city hall following a swearing-in ceremony, injuring two police officers. In the days that followed, Chief Fournier was there for his troops. Surrounding departments were there operationally to take calls and fill in for officers who needed time off or who were placed on post-shooting mandated leave. However, there was no formalized system to guide Chief Fournier through this incident on a personal level: no checklist in place to see if he needed anything; no peer to talk to; not even someone to drive him around so he could help manage the actual incident, while also focusing on his agency’s day-to-day operations.