The Tucson Police Department has a very progressive employee assistance program, which is available to both sworn and non-sworn members. At the center of our employee assistance programs and philosophy is the Behavioral Sciences Unit (BSU). BSU is a part of the Human Resources Division and is comprised of three full-time staff members. The Department psychologist's is licensed in Arizona, and serves as Clinical Director. Among the psychologist's duties are providing administrative supervision for two full-time police sergeants. The sergeants serve the department as Peer Support Counselors. They provide a range of personal assistance services to employees and their families.
BSU's mission is to coordinate employee assistance services for employees and their significant others, for problem assessment/identification, and to arrange referral to other services. BSU sergeants perform triage and make referrals to stabilize even the most complicated situation. Issues they respond to on a daily basis include work-related problems, alcohol abuse/dependence, family concerns, crisis intervention, situation assessment, officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, and any other even that could traumatize employees and their families. Additionally, BSU sergeants provide coaching for career development to department members. BSU also coordinates the Peer Support Program. Peer Supporters are employees who been carefully selected and trained to help their peers by listening, supporting, and referring either to BSU or the City's contract employee assistance provider.
BSU's psychologist coordinates both new-hire and special assignment psychological evaluations, provides brief, limited-term psychotherapy to employees and their significant others, consults with all levels of staff, designs and implements programs, determines when fitness-for-duty evaluations are needed, provides outreach lectures to community organizations, trains department staff, and responds to traumatic incidents.
BSU is on call and available to all department members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.