DELAWARE STATE POLICE CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGEMENT TEAM
Sergeant Francis L. Fuscellaro II
The Delaware State Police Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team continues to provide services to law enforcement and emergency service personnel for both state and municipal agencies throughout the state of Delaware. The team continues to assist officers and other emergency service personnel with minimizing the harmful effects of job related stress, traumatic stress and personal stressors. The team is dedicated to maintaining strict confidentiality and to respect the thoughts and feelings of the individuals involved.
In 2011, the Delaware State Police CISM Team Leader was Sgt Francis L Fuscellaro II assisted by Mr. John Shoemaker, a supervisor with Kent County Communications. The team presently consists of thirteen sworn and six civilian members who have received training endorsed by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. In 2011, Sgt. Robert Kracyla and Cpl/3 Jeff Weaver retired from the State Police but both continue to remain active with the CISM Team.
During the past year, the CISM team assisted non-sworn members of law enforcement or emergency service personnel by providing CISM services to DELDOT in response to one of their members being fatality injured performing his duties. The team also provided CISM services to numerous members of Kent County Fire Service since their CISM team dissolved.
In the year of 2011 the Delaware State Police CISM team responded to thirty-nine incidents/responses, which included an In-line of Duty Death, police shootings, military re-integration, fatal accidents and other traumatic events for law enforcement and emergency service personnel. The team responded to those incidents in an effort to provide support to the involved officers, co-workers and in some instances family members. The most significant response of 2011 was in providing support for the New Castle County Police, New Castle County Emergency Service Personnel and surrounding law enforcement officers, who were involved with the in-line duty death of Lt. Joseph Szczerba. The CISM team provided numerous peer support contacts, defusings, one-on-ones and debriefings over a period of several weeks.
Also during 2011 several Team members attended the 11th World Congress on Stress Conference in Baltimore Maryland, which afforded them the opportunity to net-work with other CISM Teams throughout the Nation and learn new techniques to assist them in performing CISM services.
The CISM team continues to work closely with Dr. Ellen Marshall and other police organizations for joint training opportunities. Dr. Marshall serves as a full time Criminal Justice professor at Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown, Delaware and volunteers her time as the team’s Mental Health Coordinator. She has conducted approximately 10 one-on-one CISM sessions (approximately 30 hours of counseling services) not including the responses she does with the Team, making the team’s total number of incidents/responses just under fifty responses. This year Dr. Marshall instructed a Peer on Peer Refresher Course for the Team which was an outstanding course of instruction. Several team members benefited tremendously from this training.
- Information obtained from 2011 DSP Annual Report -