ASHLAND — No one calls the police when they are having a good day.
If they do, Captain Craig Kiley of the Ashland Police Division has not seen it.
“Typically, majority of our time people call police because they have something they can’t deal with or whatever their stressors that they’re dealing with,” Kiley said.
When Captain Kiley and Chief David Lay heard of the Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, they decided to apply for a grant to tackle the toll that police officers’ high-stakes work takes on them.
On Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the Ashland Police Division had been awarded $24,850 for annual visits with a clinician and for a wellness app.
With the new money, Ashland officers will be able to talk with a clinician once a year about mental health, fitness, nutrition or anything else they want to discuss, Kiley said.
“(Take) me, for example, 20 plus years, I would be able to go in and talk with a clinician and kind of describe some of the things that I’ve experienced and maybe be able to help us work through it. So it sounds weird to say, but it’s just a mental health wellness checkup, like a triaging point for that,” he said.
The money will also be used for an app provided by first responder wellness app developer Cordico. The app will allow officers to research health topics and meet with teletherapists, according to Cordico’s website.
“It allows them the ability to communicate with people without, you know, fear of your buddy right beside you knowing. It gives them anonymity to discuss things,” Kiley said.
All of the grants in the first responder wellness program are funded by American Rescue Plan Act funds that Gov. DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly set aside for first responders.