Master of Arts
This research aims to provide police agencies with a step-by-step guide for developing a Peer Support Program. It will address how to design the program, overcome complex changes in an agency, create a crisis communication strategy, and budget for the new specialty department. This research will address ethical and moral dilemmas a peer support member may face as they perform their duties. Furthermore, the author will present a code of conduct that will serve as the foundation of the program. The researcher will also explain how training, ethical accountability, and stewardship are crucial in making an ethical program for first responders. Additional concerns were also identified statutorily in MN 181.9731, Public Safety Peer Counseling, regarding the protection and privacy of police officers. In part, the author has made several specifics recommendations to amend state statute and identified key stakeholders to aid in the passage of new legislation to further protect first responders.