UWO police captain creates app to help brothers and sisters in blue

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Sometimes protectors need protecting, and that’s what led a local police captain to create an app to help his brothers and sisters in blue.

Captain Chris Tarmann with the University of Wisconsin-Oskosh Police Department, as part of a project for Wisconsin Command College, came up with the idea for a wellness app for law enforcement across the state. The app, which he hasn’t named yet, is designed to help law enforcement with mental health.

According to Tarmann, “We want police officers to be able to connect with resources so they are better on their toes when they’re here, so that they have the ability to recover quickly and get back into the work that they need to accomplish so that our communities members know that we are healthy and we can respond to those situations better.”

Geared toward mental health wellness, the app will provide everything from peer counseling to immediate help, but it also includes tools for physical health like pre-shift stretching and meal planning for days on the job. It’s a one-stop shop where law enforcement can feel safe for asking for help without any judgment.

“There’s a button right in here that I built in that says ‘Get help now,’ and there’s resources built inside of here that they can connect with somebody 24/7 and they will talk to them and they will have experiences or they will connect them with somebody that has experiences about something that they’re dealing with,” says Tarmann.

Built by law enforcement for law enforcement in conjunction with those who want to help law enforcement, the app comes at a time when the profession continues to come under fire. It’s an avenue for those in law enforcement to deal with their feelings whether it’s a stress in their professional or personal life.

Todd Thomas is the chief of police In Appleton. He says, “It’s hard talking to a co-worker that you’re going to see every day about a personal issue you’re struggling with, especially when you’re an officer and you’re supposed to have that armor. So, when you can reach out to somebody else, that’s confidential, that knows what you’re talking about, that understand what you’re feeling and have a conversation, I think that’s going to have a significant impact.”

Captain Tarmann plans to have the app downloadable for law enforcement by October 1.

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