“People expect you to be strong, but it can be any little thing that may trigger you later. So for me, that was like a month later that I held this little baby, but then my mind starts to go back to three different calls that I went to involving babies.”
This is why the London Police Service has a peer support group. While the Critical Incident Stress Management program exists as a more formal process to debrief officers after difficult calls, the peer support group is an informal network of 30 members, uniform and civilian, who act as friendly ear and are available when someone is triggered later down the road.
“It’s great to support people after the big calls, after the trauma, but know that … this can come up at any time, for seemingly no reason at all.”
Noël was able to reach out to someone else who had worked through the same calls. But the peer support group also gives officers and civilians a set group of people they can reach out to, or who may reach out to them just to check in.