(Dublin, Ohio) —The Dublin Police Department is grateful to have received grant funding that will further improve and enhance the quality of life and job enrichment for all members of the agency when it comes to mental health. As part of the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention and Resilience Program, the department will be allocated $310,000 over a two-year period for annual wellness checkups for police officers and dispatchers, funding for additional mental health visits as needed, and advanced individual wellness training for employees. The program is administered by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
The department received the grant along with 12 other first responder agencies in the third round of funding. A total of approximately $75 million will be awarded to law enforcement agencies, dispatch centers, fire departments and emergency medical services agencies as part of the program in the following months.
An ongoing focus for Dublin Police, mental and physical wellness has been an emphasis for leadership throughout the year to ensure personnel are ready and able to provide the highest level of public safety services to the Dublin community.
“As a proactive approach, the programming demonstrates another layer of our department’s commitment to employee wellness, helping change the complicated culture of law enforcement mental illness, and, most importantly, prevent suicide,” Dublin Police Chief Justin Páez says. “This focus will ensure we provide valuable and wide-ranging information to our diverse staff.”
Grant funds will be used for mental health clinician services to give police personnel resources and strategies centered around increasing their mental wellness. The grant also designates funding for a physical wellness program provider to offer multiple classes per week at the police department, such as one-on-one programming, meal planning assistance and injury rehabilitation and prevention training.
Páez credits the department’s internal Wellness Committee members for helping foster a positive culture throughout the agency in hopes of increasing overall mental health wellness and acceptance. He acknowledges the members’ ambition and initiative in applying for the grant.
“I want to recognize the group for their continued commitment to ensuring our department members have the appropriate training and resources to improve their overall mental health and well-being,” Páez says. “As we underscore and value all the aspects of our own health as individuals, we can then translate that resiliency into our daily work to serve and protect the Dublin community.”
Over the past two years, the Wellness Committee has created a Peer Support and Assistance Team, partnering with the Ohio State University and Accentus, LLC, on developing a customized wellness mobile app. Members have also researched and vetted mandatory mental health check-ins for all members, revised numerous policies and procedures to reflect an emphasis on employee wellness, and delivered training on suicide prevention and resources.
This fall, police also hosted a “Police Interactions: Cultural Awareness and Mental Health” town hall to connect residents with local organizations and educate attendees about how community policing, culture and wellness response often intersect. Find mental health resources from the City of Dublin and Dublin Police here.
Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention and Resilience Program
The program awards funding for initiatives that support wellness programs addressing mental, physical and emotional health issues unique to first responders; recruitment and retention efforts to restore workforce levels; onboarding and training costs; and explorer programs to engage young adults about first responder careers. The program is funded as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated to first responders.
Public Safety in Dublin
The Dublin Police Department is dedicated to protection, service and public safety in partnership with the community. Learn more at YourDublinPolice.org.
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