SEVERE WX : High Wind Warning - Blizzard Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Chico Police Department uses technology to address mental health

The Chico Police Department is turning to technology to help address the issue of mental health for first-responders

Posted: Sep 24, 2019 8:13 AM

CHICO, Calif. -- During the Camp Fire, dozens of Chico Police Department personnel rushed into harms way to help others. Now, almost eleven months since the fire, the department is turning to enhanced technology to support the mental, emotional and physical well-being of staff.

Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough recently sat down with Police Chief Michael O'Brien to learn more about a new mobile app designed to counteract any lingering effects of trauma from the fire.

For the many officers who responded, body-camera video captured harrowing moments of flames all around. While staff responded to calls to help people in the path of the fire, many of those same officers watched as the fire consumed their own homes; losing everything. Many dispatchers working that morning took calls for help from people they could not help.

Chief O'Brien says situations like this can lead to stress. He says many times an individual may look okay on the surface and appear well-adjusted and not impacted but no one knows what may truly be going on inside. He says the question for the department is how to best take care of staff, so they can properly take care of the community.

The department is now turning to technology to address the issue. All staff members will soon have access, via their phones, to a mobile known known as CORDICO.  It allows staff 24/7 private and confidential access to mental health help and support.

The decision to add this mobile app is in part, say O'Brien, because of the Camp Fire.

He says the department must be ready for anything and he believes being proactive is the best option.

While the department has not experienced a member suffering from trauma which then leads to an individual harming themselves, across the nation the reality of law enforcement stress and suicide is gaining more attention.

The organization Blue H.E.L.P. tracks nationwide officer suicides. The advocacy group reports a total of 578 verified law enforcement suicides from January, 2016 through June of this year.

Chief O'Brien says the very nature of the culture of law enforcement can make it difficult to recognize those who may need assistance. He says officers typically will not raise their hands to say, "Hey, I need help." The Chief says he is hopeful using technology will help in reaching those who may not otherwise ask for help, especially because the mobile app is completely confidential and private.

The program came at a cost of little of 30-thousand dollars. That amount was not in the department budget, but O'Brien says a local church recognized the need and saw the value in the program and covered the full cost.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3213222

Reported Deaths: 37543
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles107967215314
San Bernardino2660281678
Riverside2643632857
Orange2377082704
San Diego2286322375
Santa Clara985831264
Kern90564591
Fresno858081067
Sacramento841101185
Alameda70823896
Ventura66402525
San Joaquin59665835
Contra Costa55245489
Stanislaus49065796
Tulare43574542
Monterey37527259
San Mateo34294340
San Francisco30559293
Santa Barbara27149267
Solano27041115
Imperial25707510
Merced25575331
Sonoma25141251
Kings20138161
Placer17839188
San Luis Obispo16957158
Madera14000151
Santa Cruz13009135
Marin12024165
Yolo11210138
Shasta10054129
Butte9820136
El Dorado818462
Sutter806983
Napa800548
Lassen526916
San Benito522351
Yuba517630
Tehama446846
Tuolumne347740
Nevada335574
Mendocino329336
Amador306733
Lake272432
Humboldt262427
Glenn202622
Colusa18719
Calaveras170423
Siskiyou149913
Mono11454
Inyo105129
Del Norte8742
Plumas6135
Modoc3903
Mariposa3555
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 34°
Oroville
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Chico
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 34°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: 32°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 32°
Chico
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 34°
A Pacific storm is now moving into northern California. The clouds have arrived, the wind is getting stronger, and we can expect areas of rain and snow tonight, and it will be heavy at times. Snow will fall down to the valley floor through Wednesday morning.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events