BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- An Operation: Crime & Justice investigation brings change within the Baltimore Police Department.
A Baltimore cop, hidden in shadows admits to being an alcoholic. The weight of the badge became too much to bear.
“I couldn’t function without alcohol,” the officer said.
He reached out to his supervisor, and received treatment. His story helped other officers reach out for help.
“Actually, our numbers have doubled since the story aired,” Vernon Herron said.
Herron is the director of the police department’s Officer Safety and Wellness section. He says between October and December of 2017, 18 officers called his office for help. In 2018, following Fox45’s “Weight of the Badge” series, the number of calls more than doubled, to 39.
“As soon as we remove the stigma of that [officers afraid to seek mental health treatment], more officers will come forward. We can eliminate police suicides and excessive force, and we’ll have a more productive police department,” Herron said.
Herron, and the Department of Justice, link healthier officers to safer streets and fewer cases of police misconduct.