UMDNJ and N.J. Department of Personnel Celebrate Cop 2 Cop Hotline
UBHC Counselors Have Been Assisting,
Supporting NJ Police Officers for 7 Years
PISCATAWAY — November 2007 marks the 7th year that the statewide COP 2 COP Hotline has served New Jersey’s law enforcement officers and their families. Today administrators from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the New Jersey’s Department of Personnel Commissioner Rolando Torres, Jr. held an event to honor law enforcement officers throughout the state and raise awareness of suicide prevention. The event was held at UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare in Piscataway.
One N.J. sergeant, who was wounded on the job and is part of the COP 2 COP Wounded Officers Support Group, was featured during the screening of an 11-minute film called, “A Call for Valor.” Sgt. Ken Hogan’s life was changed by a suicidal man who fired 19 bullets from a semi-automatic weapon at him. Four of the bullets hit Sgt. Hogan and one lodged in his skull. The film highlights his courage, his survival plan, and how the tragedy currently impacts his life.
Blue Force Films Director and Producer of the documentary, D.R. Hernandez, a Belleville resident, discussed the film and explained how the confidential COP 2 COP Hotline (1-866-COP-2COP) helped her when she was a patrol officer in a N.J. police department.
COP 2 COP, which is located at the UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare, is the first program of its kind in the nation legislated into law to focus on suicide prevention and mental health support for law enforcement officers. COP 2 COP is a partnership between UMDNJ and the New Jersey State Department of Personnel and it is located at UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare in Piscataway. The hotline is answered by retired cop volunteers and cop clinicians who have a deep understanding of officers' concerns, problems and family issues. COP 2 COP team members are trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. They respond to calls as well as conduct debriefings and defusing sessions following a critical incident.
“Police officers are four times more likely to commit suicide than to be killed in the line of duty,” said Cherie Castellano, program director of COP 2 COP at the UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare. "COP 2 COP officers understand ‘the job ’ and they are trained to respond to calls from men and women who answer the call of duty daily.”
Since COP 2 COP was established for the law enforcement community in 2000, more than 20,100 calls have been answered and more than 65 suicides have been subverted. COP 2 COP is a resource that offers New Jersey’s law enforcement community a free confidential helpline (1-866-COP-2COP) from trained retired police officers that serve as peer counselors and clinicians. COP 2COP, is the only law enforcement hotline nationwide that is certified by the American Association of Suicidology.
For more information, call Kaylyn Kendall Dines at 973-972-7276. Or, visit http://www.cop2coponline.net/
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation ’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,700 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.