2023

Finalist | Officer Wellness

Butte County (CA) Sheriff’s Office

State: CA

2023 Officer Wellness finalist

Butte County located 70 miles north of Sacramento, California, has a population of around 208,309 residents as of the 2021 Census. The county features five primary law enforcement agencies, two fire departments, and one regional EMS provider. Notably, it is home to California State University, Chico, with over 13,000 enrolled students.

Sheriff Kory Honea assumed office as the 31st Sheriff in May 2014, leading an agency comprising 80 sworn corrections staff, 93 sworn patrol/operations officers, and 95 civilians, totaling 268 full-time staff members. The agency also receives support from approximately 100 volunteers and extra help staff.

The community has faced devastating natural disasters over the past six years. The Lake Oroville Spillway Incident in February 2017 resulted in the evacuation of over 180,000 residents due to potential dam failure. In November 2018, the “Camp Fire” became the deadliest wildfire in California’s history, with 18,000 structures destroyed and 85 lives lost.

Recognizing the toll on first responders, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office secured a $1 million grant from the Butte Strong Fund to provide trauma and recovery services. In November 2021, the Butte Strong First Responder Wellness Unit was formed, focusing on Physical Fitness, Mental/Emotional Wellness, and Family Support and Outreach.

The unit offers various wellness programs, including weekly functional fitness programming, fitness equipment, group fitness classes, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, yoga classes, and fitness/nutrition education. The county also provides Flu Vaccinations through its staff clinics.

A County-Wide Peer Support Team with 45 members from law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies offers support during critical incidents. BCSO Chaplains serve personnel and respond to critical incident scenes. Incident-Based Therapy, provided by eight contracted therapists, offers mental health support.

Inpatient Alcohol/Drug and PTSD Services are available through First Responder Wellness. Mental health training, including Psychological First Aid and Suicide Prevention, is a priority for all agency partners.

Quarterly informational lunches update staff on available programs, and a local massage school offers onsite massages. Victor, the in-house Emotional Support Dog, brings smiles to staff, thanks to a partnership with the SPCA.

Family events, such as outdoor ice skating, cook-offs, painting nights, and picnics, are organized. A monthly newsletter highlights upcoming programs and services, and a customized wellness app by Cordico provides easy access to resources.

This summary provides an overview, but the full submission contains additional programs and incentives benefiting agency members. Reviewing the complete submission and associated documents is recommended for a comprehensive understanding of their efforts.

Resources

Butte County (CA) Sheriff's Office | 2023 Officer Wellness Nomination
Butte County (CA) Sheriff's Office | 2023 Officer Wellness Executive Summary

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