FMRT Encourages You to Develop and Support Beneficial Peer Support Teams

The FMRT Group is passionate about the positive contributions of peer support teams within our safety-sensitive departments. We’ve enjoyed many years of evaluating prospective peer support team members to ensure “good fit,” assisting departments with their implementation process, training teams through interactive presentations, and ongoing support of the teams when needs go beyond the members’ scope and responsibilities. You can have confidence that we follow IACP Police Psychological Services Section guidelines and we share commonly-accepted practices of the psych services section with our client agencies.

In our Peer Support trainings, public safety personnel are trained to recognize and address each other’s needs, to create a healthy and supportive agency culture, and to help decrease work performance issues that may be due to personal problems. In addition, The FMRT Group recognizes that peer-to-peer support provides a network for public safety colleagues to use following critical incidents, which provides valuable information about “what’s going to happen next” and support to both the employee and family members.

Our workshop participants:
a) Learn about the peer support model
b) Have ongoing discussions of specific and personal work stressors impacting their department
c) Gain basic skills in understanding and addressing work stressors
d) Keep current with psychological and medical topics relevant to public safety needs from IACP Police Psychology Section and other appropriate resources
e) Have The FMRT Group available for ongoing provision to the members and employees for referral needs.

To assist your current or future team just request a proposal from Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Morris, at elizabeth@fmrt.org, or Chief Operating Officer Carrisa Nelson, carrisa@fmrt.org.

Peer Support Offers Valuable Career-Specific Insight and Guidance

Peer Support Offers Valuable Career-Specific Insight and Guidance in general, peer support is the act of colleagues sharing job information and acquired experience as well as emotional encouragement or practical assistance with each other. In the context of The FMRT Group’s services, it refers to a specific group of trained co-workers within your organization who are available to help and support colleagues who could benefit from mentoring or informal counseling.

Why does peer support work?

1. Social support among people who share mutual trust and common concerns builds positive interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Such interactions promote healthy workplace dynamics as well as individual adjustment to stressors that are common among co-workers.

2. The experiential knowledge of people who are involved in the same line of work identifies with occurrences and perspectives inherent in the job. Such outlooks are realistic and applicable to the existing environment and, therefore, help solve problems and improve functioning.

3. Co-workers become role models who have gone through, and successfully overcome, similar experiences. Peers who have survived the physical, mental, and emotional ups and downs of successful careers are more credible and can better effect positive thinking or behavior changes.

4. Positive social comparison results in those who are experiencing difficulties – family problems, physical illnesses, emotional challenges – establishing rapport with those who have successfully overcome them. This fosters genuine optimism and provides obviously attainable goals.

In addition to all the benefits to the colleagues who are being aided, there is significant value to the co-workers who are doing the helping. Peer supporters will:
• experience an increased sense of competence from having a positive impact on others
• develop an overall sense of equal interdependence from the give-and-take of interactions
• grow in valuable self-knowledge and positive self-awareness while assisting others
• receive healthy appreciation from those they help and reassuring approval from others

Sheriff Builds Community Relations

Surry County Sheriff Atkinson and Deputy Latza visited the third-grade classes at Cedar Ridge Elementary School in Lowgap, NC recently to talk about their jobs, and how the sheriff’s department helps the community. The students, who average about eight years of age, were completing a study about helping others. The sheriff swore the students in as junior deputies at the end of his talk. Then, he encouraged them to go out into their community and help others.

We congratulate these wonderful public safety officers for representing our profession so thoughtfully.

Police Department Teams Interact with Protesting Citizens

After the Mecklenburg County district attorney’s decision following an officer-involved-shooting, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s new Constructive Conversation Teams mingled and interacted with peaceful protestors. These newly-created teams listened to concerns, answered questions and engaged in constructive conversations with people.

Officers usually assigned to crowd control are not able to converse with people while they are standing on the line. The new interactive teams were created recently when CMPD realized that protesters interpreted officers’ behavior as indifference or apathy. The Constructive Conversation Teams are focused on reducing tensions and building trust.

This is the kind of community interaction we love to see.

Staff Focus: Evan Warren, Screening Reports Coordinator

Evan Warren is the company’s primary contact for pre-employment screening services. He reviews applicants’ evaluations prior to potential job offers, sends notifications to our client agencies, and tracks statistical report data for future reference. He is the “go to guy” for any job applicant’s questions about the screening process and for assistance with accessing or submitting the online assessments

Evan likes knowing that he is making a difference in communities across the state. “When I do my best work,” he says, “it facilitates a more efficient hiring process for our clients and helps identify the best applicants for various public safety positions.”

Outside of work, Evan is interested in health and fitness as they relate to the medical industry, with a focus on nutrition and weightlifting. At the pinnacle of his weightlifting activities, he was able to barbell back-squat 335 pounds! Being a well-rounded person, his hobbies also include music and automobile detailing and repair.

A Word from Dr. Warren

It’s been my privilege and pleasure to contribute to peer support teams throughout my 30 years of involvement with law enforcement agencies in North Carolina. In my experience, effective peer support increases employee morale and decreases fitness for duty evaluations. Equipping capable andinterested co-workers with “psychological first aid” and related counseling skills provides trained colleagues who can then support their peers when life challenges arise. And who better to understand and assist public safety professionals than other public safety professionals?

John F. Warren, III, Ph.D., ABPP, PA-C