Officers discuss emotional aftermath following weekend shooting

Officers discuss emotional aftermath following weekend shooting

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Following multiple homicides that happened this past weekend, Sgt. Timothy Jenkins, with the Lawton Police Department, said it's been very somber inside the station. Some of the department’s officers had to go to more than one scene.

We've all seen the red and blue lights flashing as officers' race to a call, but what's it like for them after they get home and take off their badge and gun?

"In a routine day of a police officer's life, he's bound to see something that's really sad and tragic," Dr. Richard Brittingham, LPD medical officer said.

"It sticks with you all the time. It sticks with you a lot," Sgt. Jenkins said. "As a first responder, you're able to recall incidents, you're able to see, and remember exactly what happened, what it looked like, what was there, and maybe even what was playing on the TV or radio."

To help them cope with everything they've recently seen, Dr. Richard Brittingham, who is the department's medical officer, has been reaching out to officers to make sure they're ok.

"When you witness a shooting like what was seen over the weekend, that's going to stay with those guys,” Dr. Brittingham said. “That's not going to go away. The images are not going to go away ever, ever."

He said he talks to officers about counter imaging to help reduce the feelings and stress that comes with the image.

"If you're imaging something negative, you can counter-image something positive that tends to dilute of that particular thing that whatever it is," he said.

Even though they knew they'd go to some bad called when they became an officer, it doesn't get any easier for them.

"The family goes through a tragic event; we try our best to be there for them and comfort them,” Sgt. Jenkins said. “We also go through that same tragic event. I may not have any ties to that person or to that family, but at the same time, this is my community that I serve. These are the people that I put my all in to look out for. That's why I chose to be in Lawton. That's why I chose to work in Lawton. Same thing for first responders. We want everyone in our community to be safe."

Dr. Brittingham said one way the community can help officers during this time is by taking time to talk to them and thank them.

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