Wethersfield Police Department opens wellness room for officers, staff

Wethersfield Police Department's wellness room
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT
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WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) - The Wethersfield Police Department is demonstrating just how important it is to care for your mental health.

It’s dedicated a room inside the headquarters just for its officers and staff who work there.

Just down the hall from the evidence locker room is a room that has been re-purposed.

“This was an office with no windows, no great ventilation, yeah,” said Sergeant Jenny Rivera with Wethersfield police.

It is now the wellness room.

Every piece here is designed to bring about a sense of comfort.

From the focal point of rocking recliner in the center to a painting of a brook and stream centered on the wall, this is a place where one can relax and re-focus.

“Officers aren’t worried about taking a moment, to take a break, and sit back and take a breather. Detached from everything whether is 20 or 30 minutes,” said Rivera.

Rivera and Lead Dispatcher Karen Tomczyk both designed the room.

They say the room itself was born out of need.

It was part of the 30x30 initiative, a pledge to increase the number of women in policing to at least 30-percent by 2030.

“At that time we started talking about ways to suit female officers coming in,” said Tomczyk.

The idea was to have a lactation room, but then it expanded from there for a room to suit wellness for both men and women.

“The idea is to help reduce the stress as well as inspire creativity, critical thinking and refocus,” Tomczyk said.

Now since October of last year, the room is used nearly every day.

There are rules to using this wellness room.

There’s a time limit of 30 minutes. Food is allowed. The most important rule is no working is allowed. This is a work-free zone, period.

Sergeant Joseph Baich a 13-year veteran with Wethersfield police, has used the room before after a particular hard day.

“It was a midnight shift. After a midnight shift. I was a stressful busy day. Just taking the time to kind of come down a little bit focus on the right here and right now,” said Baich.

It’s proof, they say, that this wellness room is serving its purpose: a space they need to make sure they are in tune with their mind and spirit.