Government

Country Financial donates $1,500 to Joliet Police Department’s Battle Buddy program

Program aids veterans, active military members in a crisis

Country Financial has donated $1,500 to the Joliet Police Department’s Battle Buddy program, which helps veterans and active military members in a crisis.

Representatives from Country Financial presented the donation on Oct. 8 to Joliet police officers to further assist military veterans in Joliet, according to a news release from Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English.

The donation from Country Financial, an insurance and financial services company, was made possible from the company’s Operation Helping Heroes program, which provides funding for first responders, military and veteran organizations, and teachers, English said.

In a statement, Country Financial representative Dan Gallivan said the Battle Buddy program is a “top-notch program” developed by the Joliet Police Department to bring aid to veterans in Joliet and surrounding communities who may be despondent, suicidal or may need some other help.

“The Joliet officers that partake in this assistance program are veterans themselves and that is why I am sponsoring this with the help of Country Financial’s Operation Helping Heroes program,” Gallivan said.

English said the Battle Buddy program includes a select group of Joliet police officers who’ve served in branches of the military and will respond to calls for veterans or active military members who are despondent or suicidal.

English said there are 27 members of the Battle Buddy program — ranging from the rank of officer to deputy chief — whom have volunteered and taken critical incident crisis intervention training.

Veterans and active military members can talk to officers in the program and get information for services other than what is provided at hospitals for veterans, English said.

“The goal is to further connect with a veteran before a crisis occurs, but also work with them after a negative event in their lives to reduce recidivism,” English said.

The Battle Buddy program began in 2016.

For more information or questions about the Battle Buddy program, email jpdbattlebuddy@joliet.gov or visit the program’s website at bit.ly/3v8xWyA.