Castle Rock, CO

Castle Rock Police offer community support through A Rally of Hope

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Sept. 9, 2022

(Castle Rock, Colo.) The Castle Rock Police Department is hosting its 3rd annual mental health and suicide prevention awareness rally, “A Rally of Hope,” at 5:30 on Sept. 20 at Festival Park.

The event, which started in 2020 during the pandemic, hopes to connect residents with non-profit and private mental health organizations in the Denver metro area. The connections create opportunities for residents to ask questions, discuss resources and make connections for additional discussions and services.

The event also provides opportunities to learn how Castle Rock handles calls for service involving people in crisis. Officer Tom O’Donnell, a member of the Community Response Team and certified crisis intervention technician, said he and other team members will be present for conversations.

“These duos consist of an officer and mental health clinician who work together to connect individuals with mental health providers,” O’Donnell said. “We want people to see our teams as other valuable resources in our community.”

The Castle Rock Police Department will also bring its two licensed therapy dogs, Rocket and Buttercup.

Last spring, CRPD and the Douglas County School District became the first in the state to permanently pair a licensed therapy dog with a school resource officer. CRPD’s two teams currently serve the Town’s high school and middle school students and staff.

According to Taylor Temby, Castle Rock Police Department media relations specialist, other participants are:

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and suicide is a leading cause of death in Douglas County, according to the 2021 Douglas County Coroner’s Report, trailing only natural and accidental deaths. In 2020, the county reported 54 deaths from suicide. In 2021, that number rose to 61, accounting for 2.6% of total jurisdictional deaths counted by the coroner’s office.

Douglas County’s suicide rate is overall higher than the national average, but has fallen over the past few years due to population growth, according to DougCo Coroner’s Office 2021 Report.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

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