Officers learn to cope with the emotional strain of children's deaths

Within the last weekend, there have been two separate incidents in which a child has died.

It is never easy to deal with, especially for first responders who have to work the incidents.

"A first responder is going to see more trauma in one day than an average person will see in a lifetime," says Major Darren Ivey.

That's why the Wichita Police Department asked him to bring his "Surviving Secondary Trauma" training to Wichita for the third time.

He's with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

"We'll share stories about what it's done, maybe in my personal life and what it's done to the personal lives of the people I know, who have given me permission to share their stories," says Ivey.

Major Ivey's main goal with officers from Wichita, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office and even the prosecutor's office, is to get them to talk.

"It's okay when a child dies, it makes me sad, I want to hug my friend, I want to cry, and I really don't want to come into work the next day," says Ivey. "That's okay though."

"In law enforcement, we've learned that trauma and stress are the poisons to the mental health of the officers in this profession," says Sgt. Steve Yarberry, with the Wichita Police Department.

He says before departments started dealing with the stress of the job -
alcoholism, divorce rates, and suicides were high.

"People need to understand when I put a uniform on as a police officer, I'm still a human being," he reiterates.

And being human makes a good officer.

47:27 "If their resiliency is built up, the effects of the tragic experience they're exposed to are less likely to happen," says Ivey.

Officers do receive stress training when they join the force.

Major Ivey says this additional training just compliments what they've already learned.