DELAFIELD -- A first of its kind in Wisconsin, the Delafield Police Department is unveiling a phone app designed to help officers cope with the stress of the job.
The app -- called Cordico Shield -- is specifically catered to the mental health challenges that first responders face as a result of their jobs. With one tap of their finger, Delafield officers now have access to more than 40 wellness categories on their phones -- connecting them and their families to self-help resources.
Cordico Shield mental health app
"We need to do something to make sure our members are able to cope and be as resilient as possible," said Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl. "The wellness issue is something I've been interested in for years."
Kehl used department donations to purchase the program after experiencing first-hand the toll that policing takes on officers -- from daily exposure to crime scenes, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to increased racial tension between law enforcement and communities nationwide.
The app, which keeps all of the user's information confidential, is an easy way to seek help -- something, Kehl said, many officers are ashamed to admit they need.
Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl
"It affects all of us. We all bear the burden of guilt by association," said Kehl. "It doesn't make us weak that things get to us. We're human."
So far, Delafield is the first and only law enforcement agency in Wisconsin to use this specific tool for its members. But Kehl hopes that, as more departments learn about the program, they, too, will invest in it.
"Officers that are well adjusted, that know they are supported, that are taken care of, they are going to provide a better level of service to the community," Kehl said.
It's one tool of support for the people we call when we're in need, so they can better support us.