Former Minneapolis Police Officer Starts Nonprofit to Combat PTSD

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A former Minneapolis police officer started a nonprofit with the goal of helping fellow officers to overcome PTSD. Former Officer Chris Steward served the Minneapolis Police Department for over 14 years. Steward said, “This was my opportunity to serve the community that I loved and respected. I love my profession. I loved the people I served. I loved the people I worked with.”

Steward was one of the over 200 officers who left the Minneapolis Police Department following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. He felt he had to choose between “this profession” or his life after witnessing the officers’ abandonment and the burning down of the 3rd precinct, which he watched real-time from closed-circuit TV screens at the 2nd precinct.

Steward told FOX 9, “It was just being in a rage when I got to work. Essentially, I’d rather eat my own gun than go to work. It came to that point. It was that bad. I knew I could no longer do this profession. There was a point it was either this profession or my life, and I had to choose.”

Steward said, “It’s nice knowing that you’re helping somebody. That’s why I got into law enforcement, to help people, and through this foundation, I think we’re definitely helping people.” He loved his job so much that he fought to go back to work after going partially blind in a botched retina injection.

He started the organization, Heroes Helping Heroes, after realizing his own struggle with PTSD that he had missed for years. “Hindsight is always 20-20. So, looking back, I’ve been having signs and symptoms of PTSD for nearly a decade, but I was in the fight. I was caught up in work and I was caught up in life and didn’t have the opportunity to reflect on how it was changing and impacting me.”

Heroes Helping Heroes assists emergency personnel who are dealing with PTSD and suicidal thoughts, with “early intervention and support, bringing together police, fire and EMS for fun bonding sessions, including a fishing outing on Lake Superior.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Minneapolis Police Department” by Minneapolis Police Department.

 

 

 

 

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