City of Porterville
291 N. Main Street
Porterville, CA 93257
For more information contact:
Yuriko Velarde, Administrative Analyst
March 8, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES WELLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH GRANT
The Porterville Police Department has been awarded a $46,000 State grant to improve Officer wellness and expand available mental health resources. As part of the 2022 State Budget Act, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Officer Wellness and Mental Health Grant Program was established, providing $50 million in funds for city and county law enforcement agencies. Each eligible law enforcement agency was allocated funds based on the number of peace officers in their respective departments. At its meeting on March 7, 2023, the Porterville City Council accepted the Police Department’s allocated share of $46,000.
The Officer Wellness and Mental Health Grant was established to address everyday exposures to incidents which can lead to mental exhaustion, burnout, and poor mental health. The funds from the grant can be used for many purposes, including: establishing or expanding Officer wellness units, establishing or expanding peer support units, mental health services by a health professional or counselor, expanding multi-agency mutual aid programs, and any other programs/services that are evidence-based to have a successful track record of enhancing Officer wellness. The goal of offering these services is that Officers will have overall improved mental health from recruitment to retirement.
The Porterville Police Department currently has resources available to address Officer wellness and mental health, and are always evaluating ways to expand on these valuable services. One of the current services offered is the Cordico Shield app, which provides 24/7/365 proactive wellness solutions customized specifically for the Department. There is also a Department peer support unit to support Officers, comprised of a Lieutenant, two Sergeants, a Dispatcher, a Chaplain, and line level Officers who are available for assistance and support as needed. With the additional State funding, the Department seeks to add formal peer support training, new equipment for the Department’s gym to encourage physical fitness, as well as considering a first responder therapy dog for emotional support. Improved mental health will not only benefit Officers, but will have a positive impact on the community as the return on investment will result in the community’s health and safety being better served.