Finalist | Officer Wellness
Colorado State Patrol
2022 Finalist, Officer Wellness
The Colorado State Patrol is one of seven state-wide law enforcement agencies. The state of Colorado has a population of approximately 5.76 million people and an area of 104,094 square miles making it the 8th largest state. Colorado encompasses most of the southern Rocky Mountains the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great. The Colorado State Patrol is made up of 1,169 members including 662 Troopers, 118 Port of Entry Officers, 138 Communications programs officers, 34 Commissioned Officers and 217 other members.
The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has made officer wellness one of its top priorities and has enacted many programs to improve the safety and wellness of its members. The CSP has its own Wellness Director, Mr. Chris Covey, who has experience in education, as well as experience counseling in areas of psychology, educational programming, organizational development and functional nutrition. Mr. Covey has, with the help of the executive leadership team at CSP, formed a program fostering the culture of “Whole person, Human First Wellness.”
The delivery of wellness services in the CSP is centered in an integrated team approach inclusive of their chief and his command staff that collaborate directly with the core wellness team. The core Wellness team is comprised of Human Resources, specialty areas, and regional commands. The Wellness Leadership Team is made up of the Director of wellness, a Wellness and Fitness coordinator, and a Wellness Peer Support Coordinator.
Their responsibilities include running fitness programs as well as other supportive resources. The CSP Peer Support team is made up of 44 members from various assignments: Port of Entry officers, communications officers, professional staff, and Chaplains all make up the team. The Peer Support team is responsible for maintaining the on-call schedule, training regularly under a licensed psychologist, and advising the Wellness program office.
The CSP has a cadre of 12 Chaplains who coordinate with the wellness team members and offer their services statewide. The CSP also have a Wellness Liaison team of 32 CSP members who focus on members’ wellbeing.
CSP members have bought into the various programs as over 90% of them have utilized the wellness services. The wellness program has been promoted to all members through direct partnership with the CSP Strategic Communications Director. The wellness program is prominently featured on the CSP web page and through their weekly email news brief “Patrol On Point.”
In 2020, the CSP partnered with Oklahoma State University’s Department of Clinical Nutrition to conduct a first ever nutrition study of law enforcement population to link diet, health patterns, and mental health. The CSP Wellness Program is considered as one of the most innovative and creative in the country amongst peer agencies.
All members of the CSP are required to complete mandatory wellness curricula as part of annual in-service training or as part of their academy training. The CSP Wellness Program also has close ties with The Colorado State Patrol Association, which has served its members since 1936 and The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation which was founded in 1980.
The CSP has developed a well-defined rubric for success with a mission statement and self-assessment questions. The CSP has been recognized for their mental Health resources and have been invited to present at conferences regionally.