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VA Northern Indiana Health Care System

 

VA police team up with local first responders to share resources and knowledge

September 19, 2018

A team of VA Northern Indiana police recently spent a few days sharing procedures and information to local community first responders in helping Veterans in crisis.  

The event was organized locally and was well received by the attendees.

“I was overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback we received from the participants,” said Veteran Affairs police chief, Craig McGinnis. “Specifically, 100 percent of the participants agreed that the information they learned during the training would be useful in their duty to our community and our Veterans.”

Held at the Ivy Tech south campus, 44 participants from 19 different law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and corrections agencies attended the two day event. The classes covered topics such as PTSD symptoms, adjustments combat veterans make returning home, stigmas in the Veteran population and VA programs that are available. All these subjects are something that community first responders could see in their work day.

 “The training was an opportunity to address Veteran specific issues,” McGinnis added. “We focused on the difficulty many Veterans face when trying to transition from military life to civilian life. We also focused on Veteran PTSD, Suicide Prevention and VA resources.” McGinnis, a 25 year veteran of law enforcement, with nine years as a military policeman and 16 years with the VA, was confident that community partners were provided with vital information. “These will be great tools for them to better assist a Veteran in crisis.”

This was the first time that the VA police organized this type of event, and with the positive response, won’t be the last.

“We are already planning additional classes at our campus in Marion and clinic at St. Joseph county,” McGinnis said. “We will even go out into the community and work with our partner agencies to provide this training.”