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Thursday, November 8, 2007

[CT] Sgt. Anderson's response to Trooper Diaz killing Officer McDermott

...[State Police Sgt. Troy] Anderson was shocked when in November 2005, Diaz, a veteran trooper, shot his girlfriend, Newington Police Officer Ciara McDermott, and then turned the gun on himself. He started to wonder what, if anything, he and the department could have done...

Helping Troopers Confront Stress Participants Urged To Discuss Feelings
The Courant
By TRACY GORDON FOX
November 8, 2007
[Excerpts] State Police Sgt. Troy Anderson (on left in photo) thought he knew Victor Diaz. They were partners who taught DARE, the anti-drug program for youths, together and they would take youngsters from their classes to New York Mets games. Even after the two were assigned to other barracks, they spoke regularly. Anderson was shocked when in November 2005, Diaz, a veteran trooper, shot his girlfriend, Newington Police Officer Ciara McDermott, and then turned the gun on himself. He started to wonder what, if anything, he and the department could have done to help Diaz before he began a downward spiral... "I thought I knew him and I had no idea what was coming down the pike"... Two years later, Anderson, 38, heads the department's first intensive peer counseling effort, a program that is transforming the stereotype of stone-faced troopers unaffected by the broken bodies, crumpled cars and violent deaths they see on a regular basis... Now, troopers are urged to talk with their colleagues about their feelings and about what they have witnessed before the stress boils over into domestic violence... The program, State Troopers Offering Peer Support, or STOPS, went into effect in October... Nearly 300 police officers commit suicide every year nationwide, and many more struggle with alcoholism, or become involved in domestic abuse. Those types of cases were highlighted in a report conducted by the New York State Police on the Connecticut State Police's internal affairs unit, problems that some say could have been avoided through peer counseling and other interventions... Troopers do not have to go to headquarters or a barracks to participate in the program: Anderson's office is tucked away in a state police building at Brainard Field in Hartford. Troopers can meet with another trooper anywhere, even talk cruiser to cruiser in a parking lot or in a coffee shop... Anderson knows that there will always be some troopers who never sign onto peer counseling. But the program has gotten wide support across the department, with 40 troopers already signed up to be peer counselors. By the end of the year, Anderson said, he hopes to have 70 troopers trained...

Previous entries:

November 22, 2005
[CT] Cop on cop murder-suicide - Trooper Diaz. Officer McDermott

December 01, 2005
[CT] Ciara

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