Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Chief Eddie Garcia, Senator Royce West and UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute spotlight new Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network

Thursday’s update at UNT Dallas coincides with National Suicide Prevention Week

Zachary Flores, Executive Director of Public Safety, City of Sherman, and UNT Dallas Police Caruth Institute Vice Chair Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

 

In conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week, officials from law enforcement, the Texas Legislature and the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute gathered last week to raise awareness of the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network (TLEPN), an innovative, potentially life-saving resource that is available to Texas’ law enforcement officers.

Dustin Schellenger, State Director of the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

The TLEPN was established in 2021 by the Texas Legislature, in response to a rising number of officers dying by suicide. In 2019, the number of officers in the United States who died by suicide was nearly double the number killed in the line of duty.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

First of its kind in the country, the Peer Network is a statewide program designed to give every Texas law enforcement officer access to a trained peer to address stressors, trauma, fatigue, and other needs to combat workforce burnout and end police suicide and self-harm. Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute Vice Chair Zachary Flores, State Senator Royce West, TLEPN State Director Dustin Schellenger, and University of North Texas at Dallas President Bob Mong spoke at the event.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

Senator Royce West said, “Our officers routinely witness firsthand our society’s most tragic events and most heinous acts. I am grateful that this resource is now available to them and proud to have co-authored the bill that created it.”

Texas State Senator Royce West
Texas State Senator Royce West Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

UNT Dallas President Bob Mong
UNT Dallas President Bob Mong Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

“The Caruth Police Institute’s Executive Advisory Board envisioned the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network as a resource for law enforcement officers across the State who have nowhere else to turn for help,” said Flores. “With the support of our Governor and the Legislature, we have now launched the Network and can see the positive impact it is having on our profession. We know the Network will save lives and will enable our officers to remain healthy and productive throughout their careers.”

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

Since the network’s creation in January 2022, 325 peers across the state have been trained and registered. There have been 424 potential law enforcement users that have created an account, and the network has been utilized 44 times.

UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute board of directors
Jeff Spivey, Caruth Police Institute; Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia; Texas Senator Royce West; Dr. Monica Williams, UNT Dallas; UNT Dallas President Bob Mong; BJ Wagner, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute; Dustin Schellenger; Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network; Zachary Flores, UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute board of directors Photo courtesy of UNT Dallas

“Time and time again, the greatest barrier to help has been the stigma of job loss and the negative connotation of someone finding out that you need help. Our program is protected by law and offers an anonymous way to vent and discuss the hardships encountered,” said Schellenger. “The anonymity is a cornerstone of how we teach and prepare peers to help one another. We will continue to work diligently to earn the trust of the officers of this state one step at a time.” UNT Dallas President Bob Mong said, “UNT Dallas is proud to join others in this important effort to reduce first responder suicides. We will not look away, we will act.”

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Written By

ADVERTISEMENT

Read The Current Issue

Texas Metro News

ADVERTISEMENT

You May Also Like

Arts & Entertainment

Witherite Law Group to surprise teachers at North Dallas High School in Dallas ISD and Henrie Elementary School in Mesquite ISD with funding to...

News

In conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week, officials from law enforcement, the Texas Legislature and the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute gathered last week...

Arts & Entertainment

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and the daughter of Marvin and Yvonne Robinson, Missy. “The DISD school board rightly renamed the business management...

Arts & Entertainment

The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc- Rho Nu Lambda Chapter celebrated the chapter’ 20th Anniversary Saturday night in Richardson! The Kenn Manous...

Advertisement