Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) was one of the first in the country to develop a peer support program specific to serving military employees in a law enforcement organization. The mission of the Vets4Vets (V4V) peer support program is to provide peer-level support to Department members who are military veterans or reservists. The goal of these veteran peer support members is to assist one another in the post-deployment reintegration process and promote a smooth transition from military duty to civilian life, as well as providing general support for fellow veterans.
This program was developed as a result of the feedback received by psychologists that our veterans here at LASD present with specific military issues and prefer to talk with a peer who has had similar military experiences. Some veterans even requested that they only want to talk to a peer support member who is from a specific branch of service or job assignment, such as a Marine or a “grunt.”
V4V members are a special group of peer-support members. They have completed a three-day peer-support training program as well as an additional training day focused on addressing veteran-specific issues. They are sworn (all ranks), reserves and professional staff who work at various assignments throughout the Department and volunteer to provide support to their peers. While communication between a V4V peer and a Department member is confidential, except for those matters that involve a threat to life or a violation of law, supervisors still have additional reporting responsibilities regarding on-duty injuries, domestic violence, workplace violence and Policy of Equality violations.
V4V is a large and diverse support network of trained peers who are also veterans and are available on a 24-hour basis to render confidential peer support to members of the law enforcement community and their immediate families. V4V peer support members can also provide support for veteran members during deployment by having regular contact with them, and then assisting with post-deployment reintegration as well. Post-deployment integration can include V4V peer support members contacting the returnee periodically to check in on their fellow employees, on a case-by-case basis, for up to a year.
If you are interested in becoming a V4V member or would like to talk to one of our V4V peer support members, please contact Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) at (213) 738-3500. To obtain additional information, you may visit our intranet site (http://intranet/intranet/ESS/Index.htm).