Fla. sheriff's office hires in-house counselor following officer suicides

The department also has 15 peer counselors – with more to come


By Sarah Calams

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — A former NYPD officer has been hired to serve as an in-house mental health supervisor following recent officer suicides.

Nancy Rosado was hired as a full-time mental health specialist by Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez, who said the need was “greater than ever,” ClickOrlando.com reported. Rosado, who responded to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, said she can relate to what officers go through daily.

“They will talk,” Rosado said. “If they find the person they’re speaking to is compassionate and competent to deal with them, yeah, they will talk.”

Rosado spoke to the importance of speaking up, noting officers should not fear their jobs will be in jeopardy for admitting they’re not OK.

“This doesn’t hurt you. This doesn’t hurt your career,” Rosado said. “On the contrary, it keeps you safe from behaviors that could cost you your career later on."

Currently, there are also 15 peer counselors at the sheriff’s office – with more to come.

“We’re getting results. It’s changing the culture within the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office to make it more acceptable to ask for help,” Capt. Fred Hinderman, one of the first chosen by Rosado to become a peer counselor, said.

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