HPD Psychological Services Division Turns 30
October 9 , 2009 - Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and other dignitaries celebrated the 30th anniversary of the HPD Psychological Services Division today by attending an open house at 12707 North Freeway.
Founded in 1979 to address departmental needs, HPD’s Psychological Services Division provides an average of 400 counseling hours per month. HPD is one of the few law enforcement agencies nationwide that provides free comprehensive services to its employees.
The Psychological Services Division divides its service into three categories:
• The Clinical Unit - provides counseling for officers, civilian employees and dependents of police personnel
• The Teaching Unit - handles elective, mandatory and in-service courses for employees
“As a result of HPD’s commitment to address the total health and well-being of its personnel, the office has grown to address the suicide rate and mental health needs of our police officers, civilians employees and their dependents,” said Dr. Verdi Lethermon, Director of the Psychological Services Division. “We’re very proud to have reached this milestone in our three decades of service.”
Dr. Lethermon admits the toughest hurdle for her staff is breaking down the stigma among officers that they are invincible. “The mind set is that police officers are cut from a different cloth,” says Lethermon. “However, like anybody else, officers sometime need backup emotionally,” she added. That backup or support is crucial to personnel, especially after an officer has been severely injured or killed in the line of duty. In these cases, Psychological Services personnel go directly to a division or unit to provide counseling and support.
To schedule a media interview with Dr. Verdi Lethermon, please contact Public Affairs at 713-308-3200. B-roll of Dr. Lethermon at a teaching session and a training video are also available.
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200 .