By Chief Don Hutson
There is a feeling of renewal and excitement as the weather warms and the pandemic loses its momentum, and we look forward to resuming more normal activities after limiting our interactions these past months. Unfortunately, there are many in our community who are having a tougher time “bouncing back.” Life seems to keep beating them up and making it difficult for them to reach their potential. Depression, substance abuse, domestic conflict, and other relationship-destroying behaviors have become all too common. It seems the pandemic exacerbated these issues with some in our community.
Members of the Riverton Police Department are often exposed to our citizens at their most vulnerable times. We understand the importance of intervening to maintain public peace and protect everyone involved, including those who may be violating the law.
When we encounter citizens in crisis, we have an obligation to act to resolve the situation. That intervention can take many different forms and may include an arrest, diversion to a recognized program, or referral to one of our many partner entities that provide relevant services. We work very hard to ensure our officers receive appropriate training and are equipped with the tools to handle a variety of situations. As part of this ongoing effort, we have provided all our officers with a hardship relief resources card to be distributed to those who may benefit from the information. The card is a small reference guide containing contact information for many of the organizations which can provide critical services to members of our community who are struggling. These organizations include Volunteers of America, YWCA/Family Justice Center, Valley Behavioral Health, and many more.
We in the Riverton Police Department want all our citizens to know we are here to help, both as an engaged partner with our community and as an advocate to assist those among us who could use a helping hand. Please reach out to us and give us an opportunity to assist you. We are here for you and look forward to continuing to gain your trust through innovative, community-based policing focused on problem solving.