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Greg Lindmark law requires post-traumatic stress training for police officers

A+police+officer+looks+at+one+of+the+vehicles+involved+in+a+multi-vehicle+crash+in+the+3700+block+of+West+Roosevelt+Road+that+followed+a+shooting+on+Saturday%2C+July+8%2C+2017%2C+in+Chicago%2C+Ill.+At+least+three+vehicles+were+involved+in+the+crash%2C+and+at+least+six+people+were+transported+to+area+hospitals%2C+including+three+gunshot+victims.+%28John+J.+Kim%2FChicago+Tribune%2FTNS%29
A police officer looks at one of the vehicles involved in a multi-vehicle crash in the 3700 block of West Roosevelt Road that followed a shooting on Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Chicago, Ill. At least three vehicles were involved in the crash, and at least six people were transported to area hospitals, including three gunshot victims. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

A police officer looks at one of the vehicles involved in a multi-vehicle crash in the 3700 block of West Roosevelt Road that followed a shooting on Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Chicago, Ill. At least three vehicles were involved in the crash, and at least six people were transported to area hospitals, including three gunshot victims. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

TNS

TNS

A police officer looks at one of the vehicles involved in a multi-vehicle crash in the 3700 block of West Roosevelt Road that followed a shooting on Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Chicago, Ill. At least three vehicles were involved in the crash, and at least six people were transported to area hospitals, including three gunshot victims. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

By Jeff Kolkey | Rockford Register Star

A new law requires Illinois police academies to provide probationary officers with training to recognize signs of post-traumatic stress that they may experience on the job.

The law is named for the late Greg Lindmark, a widely respected Rockford Police Department officer who rose through the ranks to become deputy chief leading the detective bureau. Lindmark took his own life in February 2015 after retiring from a 26-year career.

Illinois Rep. John Cabello, a Rockford police officer who worked with Lindmark, sponsored the law. Cabello said he hopes it will raise awareness among officers, arm them with suicide prevention strategies and warn them about the dangers of cumulative stress that can come with responding to sometimes gruesome crime and accident scenes.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law Friday, Cabello said.

“This law is a beautiful tribute to a man I knew and really looked up to,” Mayor Tom McNamara said tonight during the Rockford City Council meeting.

McNamara proclaimed this “Officer Greg Lindmark Memorial Law Week.”

Lindmark’s family was at the Rockford City Council meeting to accept the emotional proclamation.

“The responsibility of serving and protecting the citizens of the community can be very rewarding, however constant exposure to the consequences of crime and the victims involved can lead to extreme emotional stress,” McNamara said. “Every year, hundreds of police officers struggle with depression, some take their own lives, or turn to alcohol or drugs while battling PTSD and cumulative stress.”

State mandated training, awareness and education that could extend careers and perhaps save lives are goals of a foundation founded in Lindmark’s honor by his family and fellow officers, Cabello said.

“I will not take credit for this,” Cabello told Lindmark’s family members, saying it was his honor to bring the proposal to the General Assembly and their work with the foundation that won support for it.

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(c)2017 Rockford Register Star, Ill.

Visit Rockford Register Star, Ill. at www.rrstar.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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