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UW-Oshkosh Police Captain develops app for law enforcement mental health


OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – On Tuesday, UW Police Captain Christopher Tarmann spoke with Local 5 about an app that he has created to help Law Enforcement officers who are dealing with depression and other mental health issues.

“When a person signs up for a position in Law Enforcement they’re making a lifestyle change. It’s not a job, it’s not a career – it’s a new lifestyle. Police officers, correctional officers, probation and parole agents, deputies, and so many others who work in this field own everything they experience and they think they can’t show weakness or people will question whether they can handle the stress of the job,” says Chris Tarmann, who serves as the lead champion for this new app.

Tarmann continues, “The app is a bridge built to connect Law Enforcement personnel to vetted and trusted resources 24/7/365 and it’s being built by a team of law enforcement professionals and partners who work closely with law enforcement.”

Tarmann, who has been with the UW Campus Police for 12-years says that he developed the app in early March, before the COVID-19 crisis took off here in the United States. “The app has really come at the right time, given the various conditions that can come with dealing something like this.”

Suicide involving Law Enforcement appears to be happening often, especially during this time, and that is why Tarmann says that the need is real, “The goal is really simple, it’s to save law enforcement lives. I was looking up some stats. Since 2016 in the u.S. We have had over 800 suicides of law enforcement. Since July 28th we’ve lost 3 cops to suicide.”

The app, which will launch in October 2020, will have information and resources specifically meant to support police personnel. As time goes on, it will grow into a resource for anyone in a law enforcement field in Wisconsin.

Some of the features will include direct to peer support resources, chaplains, and mental health professionals. There will also be proactive wellness resources with a focus on nutrition, physical wellness, stress, sleep, and spirituality.

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