RAPID CITY, S.D. — Workers in many positions with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office may have the odds stacked against them because of the stressful nature of their jobs.
The life expectancy of a law enforcement officer is 20 years fewer than his or her civilian counterpart.
Corey Brubakken, PCSO Wellness Director and former Captain of Investigations, says, “Because you are dealing with chaotic and crisis driven situations on a daily basis that are adding to that situation so, you got a lot coming at you.”
Now, a revamped health program is bringing attention to all aspects of wellness – the physical, mental, spiritual, environmental, and even financial.
PCSO is cultivating a balanced approach to over 400 employees, they have always encouraged a healthy lifestyle and now they are extending more tools and resources to make that happen.
They are providing a peer support team for employees, along with crisis intervention and resuming chaplain services – ways to support their workers with the impacts of the job at hand.
Brubakken says, “Our employees, as comfortable as we can with the difficult jobs that they have to do, whether that’s the equipment the patrol officer wears… how can we make what their job entitles them to do, how can we make that as comfortable as we can, with still getting the job done.”
Environmental factors play into the plan as well, like ergonomics in the office and also financial wellness help with retirement planning to budgeting.
Brubakken says, “We have a lot of employees with a lot of different needs and we want to focus on all of those wellness needs throughout the whole organization.”
The plan aims to help with retaining employees, improving employee attitude and community engagement and a fulfilling career with a healthy retirement.
Captain Brubakken retired about six months ago, but is now PCSO Wellness Director to roll out the improved wellness program.