To Protect & Serve training seminar held in Sikeston, Cape Girardeau, New Madrid, Charleston

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – A training seminar for law enforcement to learn new skills and techniques when it comes to protecting victims of traumatic events was held in southeast Missouri.

The seminar began in Sikeston, Mo. on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. until noon.

A second seminar was held at the Cape Girardeau Police Department from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Friday, Sept. 15, the training will be at the New Madrid Police Department from 8 a.m. to noon and then from 1-5 p.m. at the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in Charleston.

Registration is required. Email Michael Bowling at to register.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and a training seminar is helping law enforcement to know how to interact with victims of trauma.

Micheal Bowling, is the MDT Coordinator with SEMO-NASV.

“It will help remind them that hey these victims have been through a lot, and we need to treat them, we need to handle with care,” said Bowling.

Bowling adds that even when a victim has spoken about their abuse it can reopen the wound, “Victims like these that are facing physical and sexual abuse are always facing an uphill climb, because not only have they been through one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives, but they’re also dealing with the repercussions of that abuse.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is a major public health concern.

Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives, which is why trainings like these is extremely vital to law enforcement.

“If an officer who was untrained approaches one of the victims and says the wrong thing, asks the wrong questions, dives a little bit too deep then what they need to, it can do a lot as far as retraumatizing this victim can go,” said Bowling.

Something Becky Holloway with SEMO-NASV explains is that being aware and better educating officers of the resources to offer to victims is just a part of the seminar.

“It can be very intimidating sometimes dealing with law enforcement or going through the court process and that’s really why we’re here today just to help remind these officers, of the trauma that victims go through, and kind of give them a different perspective from a victim standpoint,” said Holloway.

Detective Corporal Tanner Hiett with the Cape Girardeau Police Department expresses his appreciation for the seminar and why law enforcement should be aware of this information, “Oh I think it’s great for local law enforcement, national law enforcement any law enforcement to be able to better equip themselves. Any time there’s training.”

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