In wake of Baltimore protests regarding the death of Freddie Gray, a group of active and retired New York Police Department officers visited the city in an effort to boost the morale and assist officers who may have been traumatized by the events.
The group hails from the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA) organization and they’re lending a sympathetic shoulder to Baltimore officers, although the city is currently contending an outbreak of shootings and other matters.
As reported by the New York Post, POPPA volunteers have visited Baltimore over the past two weeks and cited that officers there are facing mounting pressure to do their jobs. POPPA Executive Director John Petrullo told the Post that officers are “under a lot of stress” and he is concerned with their “well-being.”
Petrullo stated his concern while mentioning the violent set of clashes between protesters and police back in April, although those skirmishes were short-lived. Pertrullo also stated the citizens turned against the cops, although there haven’t been any recent reports of police being attacked with bricks or rocks at this current phase.
It was also suggested by the Post that morale is low because of the charges the six indicted officers connected to Gray’s death are now facing.
Pertrullo’s group has offered one-on-one counseling and has also engaged in ride-alongs with Baltimore police. POPPA claims that its only intentions are to assist those officers who need support in what they’re framing as a trying time for the 3,000-member police force.
We only wish the same attention and resources would be funneled into services for the traumatized community, too.