Post Critical Incident Seminar: A Tested Solution for Helping Cops Recover From The Worst Incidents

Post Critical Incident Seminar: A Tested Solution for Helping Cops Recover From The Worst Incidents
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-09-22
Unit 1 Transcript: Post Critical Incident Seminar
Unit 2 Recording: Post Critical Incident Seminar
Unit 3 Workbook: Post Critical Incident Seminar

In a previous related webinar, Rev. Eric Skidmore and Dr. Joseph Cheng provided an overview of the Post Critical Incident Seminars (PCIS) being conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program (SCLEAP). They covered the origins of the PCIS, the agenda of the 3-day seminar, the outcomes of the PCIS, and the states that are using their model to provide support to their officers.

This session’s panel is composed of three representatives from different states to understand the intricacies involved in conducting PCIS with Rev. Skidmore facilitating the discussion.

  • Kit Cummings, Operations Director of Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP)
  • John McGuire, who guided legislation into law that secured the Kentucky PCIS program
  • Rita J. Watkins, who leads a Texas Governors grant on the delivery and research of PCIS for Texas
  • Reverend Eric Skidmore, Program Manager for South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program (SCLEAP)

Specifics covered by the panel are:

  • The points that enabled to acquire buy-in of the major decision-makers.
    • Leadership awareness on the issue of officer trauma and the need for a program to address this and save lives.
    • The occurrence of a terrible critical incident with the Virginia Tech shooting, and the agency’s efforts to prevent losing a sizable chunk of the workforce following this.
    • Observing the national trend that highlights the importance of officers’ wellness and the consequences of not having a program that can support them holistically.
  • The central function of having a team approach to build a seamless program that overcomes stigma, considers different perspectives and experiences, and has the capacity to accommodate the need for it.
  • The secret sauce that makes the PCIS program a success.
    • Compassion and genuineness that comes from the nature of the seminar that is unexpected and grounded on shared stories.
    • The normalization of experiences that allow participants to better process the trauma, emotions, and thoughts following a critical incident.
  • Methods that they employ to acquire participants by early exposure in recruit school, advertising PCIS, and the organic growth of its reach as participants’ experience with the program generated word of mouth marketing.
  • The crucial peer support team member selection process that started with external resources and broadened through training with the recruitment pool coming from the PCIS participants themselves who want to pay it forward.
  • The very critical quality of law enforcement culture awareness and competency that mental health professionals must possess.

Questions from the audience concerned:

  • An overview of the PCIS and Dr. Rando’s work.
  • How wellness providers can get involved in local PCIS or law enforcement wellness programs.
  • The changes and accommodations they needed to make due to COVID restrictions and health protocols.



Resources and Handouts


This is the second of a two-part series:


Audience Comments

  • “Well planned and informative great use of time.”– Brian
  • “Great presentation on Post Critical Incident Seminar.” — Tangela
  • “I really like the process of these seminars as presented.” — Rob
  • Excellent discussion. — Phyllis
  • “I enjoyed the presentation and look forward to when our agency will host another PCIS.” — Portia
  • “Love that there are people so invested in caring for our law enforcement and first responders!” — Christina
  • “I found the speakers to be passionate about the mental health of officers and this system is well needed in law enforcement.” — Karla


Additional Resources
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