2021 General Safety Winner - West Carrolton Police Department
The West Carrolton Police Department (WCPD) has 23 sworn officers along with three part-time officers and four civilian employees. The WCPD, is a small yet progressive agency that is adapting to the times and working to keep their officers safe and healthy. In taking a modernized approach to uniforms and personal appearance, the WCPD has changed its policies on the wearing of beards by its officers and have changed their tattoo policy allowing for arm tattoos to be uncovered.
The WCPD has a Recommendation Committee, which has been in existence for many years. This committee is made up of representatives from every rank on the WCPD and offers suggestions and ideas to the chief about how to improve health safety and working conditions on the department. Recently, the WCPD adopted a new Load Bearing Vest (LBV) that will improve the comfort of its officers and protect them from the common problems caused by traditional soft body armor, namely lower back problems. With a mandatory vest policy, and the necessity for these exterior vests to be readily donned, the department has improved safety by using these new and more easily donned vests.
The WCPD operates its health and safety programs on the four key pillars of health and wellness, which are: Physical Fitness, Mental Fitness, Spiritual Fitness, and Emotional Fitness. The WCPD has a Peer Support officers who are certified mental health counselor and through Ohio law offer confidential and privileged support to its members. This protection is important to officers as they share personal information with the peer support officers. These officers are Certified in Individual and Group Crisis Intervention and are members of a county wide Crisis Intervention Stress Management Team (CISMT). This is augmented by a police chaplain program and established Employee Assistance Programs.
All officers are trained in Crisis Intervention and receive training from the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Division of Montgomery County (OH). This Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a five-step process to recognizing the signs of persons in crisis and how to help them.
The WCPD has an On-duty workout program that is supported by a certified fitness instructor and nutritionist. The gym and its equipment are available for use for family members as well.
Tactically the WCPD has installed trauma go-bags and enhanced ballistic equipment in all their patrol vehicles. The WCPD also has a certified traffic instructor who works with officers on the tactics involved in traffic stops and each officer receives annual defensive tactics training.
Lastly, the WCPD is an Accredited law enforcement agency that continues to add to its repertoire of safety and health programs and initiatives for its officers.