FAIRFIELD - A Fairfield police officer spoke with News 12 about the challenges some Bridgeport officers may be facing following a recent murder-suicide in the Park City.
Officer Lance Newkirchen says from the moment he heard about the incident, he knew from years of experience that some of the investigators involved in the case would end up facing psychological challenges. Newkirchen helped to found a crisis intervention team in Fairfield, with the idea in mind that police officers are people too.
While the CIT training was developed to help victims and their families, Newkirchen says it is also used internally to help officers who have been exposed to terrible events.
He says the case of a missing woman in Bridgeport whose body was found dismembered is a classic example. The man suspected of killing her then fatally shot himself.
"We're under a tremendous amount of stress and the things that we're exposed to sometimes on a daily basis we wouldn't want our neighbors to see," said Newkirchen.
Police say the CIT provides everything from one-on-one counseling to group therapy for fellow officers. Lt. Jim Perez says he has personally benefited from those services.
Newkirchen says the need for the CIT is only growing.
Though Bridgeport police did not want to talk about the possible psychological effects their officers might be facing as a result of the murder-suicide, they told News 12 that they do have their own crisis intervention team for officers who require support.