Colorado State Patrol - Wellness
Colorado State Patrol
Officer Wellness Finalist
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 Plains. Colorado’s most populous city and the state ranks highly in the standard of living index bolstered by the economy of which is mostly made up of government, defense, mining, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. The Colorado State Patrol is made up of 1,169 members including 662 Troopers, Corporals, and Sergeants 118 Port of Entry Officers, 138 Communications programs officers, 34 Commissioned Officers and 217 other members and have a wide range of duties.
The Colorado State Patrol has made officer wellness one of its top priorities and has enacted many programs and steps 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, chief of staff, and lieutenant colonels 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, providing empathy and awareness from the perspective of a colleague with shared experiences. The Peer Support team is made up of 44 CSP members representing peace officers, Port of Entry officers, communications officers, professional staff, and Chaplains. 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 from most professional disciplines of the CSP who focus on member wellbeing. Wellness Liaisons are highly motivated to help others and are open to continuing education to better facilitate that passion.
Member buy-in has been very high with over 90% of members utilizing CSP 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.”
The wellness program began in 2019 with the appointment of the Wellness Director Chris Covey and his first steps were to gain insights and begin outreach to leadership, members, chaplains, stakeholders, and local communities on needs and priorities. The first major wellness program event was the Human First Symposium which was widely attended and well received. In 2020 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 Colorado State Patrol are required to complete mandatory wellness curricula as part of annual in-service training or as part of 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 executive team is deeply engaged and supportive of the CSP Wellness program and have formed a dedicated task force to build a road map of the future of the CSP wellness culture. 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.