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Edward D. Reuss
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The 3rd Annual “ Giver of LIfe” Awards and Benefit Ceremony was held on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 at 24 Broadway in Manhattan.  The Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA) presented awards to those who have contributed to this vital service of peer support for police officers.

As described in the awards brochure:
“POPPA is a preventative program recognizing that the resistance of police officers seeking early asistance with their personal human problems has been high due to their fear of stigmatization and/or career jeopardy. Studies have shown that cops, as helpers, perceive themselves as failures if they ask for help until, oftentimes, it is too late. The result is suicide, homicide, or other bizaar behavior that further tarnishes their police image.  POPPA helps cops help themselves.”

President of POPPA: “Bill Genet, was a 31 year veteran of the NYPD when he founded POPPA back in 1996.  He has served as the director since that time.  Under his leadership, POPPA has grown to a seven member staff and a volunteer corps of 200 active New York City police officers who implement POPPA’s program of peer outreach and support.  POPPA recruits and trains cops of all ranks to provide a lifeline for fellow cops experiencing personal or professional problems such as trauma, stress, depression, alcohol abuse, or family tensions. POPPA is an independent, not-for-profit organization, strongly supported by the NYPD.”

Mike Sheehan with AMEX CEO Sal SodanoMike Sheehan, Det. NYPD (Ret) now
with Fox5 News, was the Master of Ceremonies again this year.  Mike presented the awards with Bill Genet , President of POPPA.   The guest speaker at this year’s awards ceremony was Mr. Salvatore F. Sodano, Chairman and CEO of the American Stock Exchange here in NYC. Mr. Sodano expressed his admiration for the man and women of the NYPD.  He recounted how the American Stock Exchange had been damaged in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  The American Stock Exchange   is located on Trinity Place a few  blocks downtown from the World Trade Center.  He expressed the opinion that without the help of the NYPD in those terrible days following the attack, the AMEX could not have recovered. He went on to reminisce that prior to attending college, he had taken the test for the Nassau County Police Department. He waited what seemed like a long period of time to be called for the police.  However, he went on with his career in finance and as his career developed, he was surprised to receive a call letter from the Nassau County PD.  

PC Kelly at the lecturn with Genet and Sheehan

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly received this year’s “Cop’s Cop Award” for his support of POPPA. The PC addressed the guests and reaffirmed his support of the POPPA Program.

Det Palladino, President DEA

Detective Michael Palladino, President of the Detective’s Endowment Association, NYPD
, was presented with the POPPA’S APPRECIATION AWARDDetective Palladino spoke of the importance of members of the NYPD to reach out for help when they need assistance from their peers.  He reaffirmed that sometimes the hardest thing for cops to do is to ask for help.  The daily stresses of police work with its traumatic effects makes a program like POPPA so vital to the needs of our men and women.

PO Boyle with Mrs. Boyle and Chief EspositoThe highlight of the evening was the presentation of the “John Coughlin Giver of Life Award” to Police Officer John P. Boyle, Peer Support Officer (PSO) of the Year 2004.
Officer Boyle spoke with great feeling about his experiences as a PSO with the POPPA Program. He was presented with the award by Mrs. John Couglin, wife of Sergeant John Couglin, Emergency Service Unit #4 for whom the award is named. Chief of Department Joseph J. Esposito congratulates Officer Boyle and his wife after the presentation.

Bill Genet accepts $5,000 check from FOP  Pres. Ferreyra

The President of New York StateFraternal Order of Police, Frank Ferreyra presented a check for $5,000.00 from the FOP in support of POPPA. 

To learn more about Critical Incident Stress and the vital role that Critical Incident Stress Debriefing plays in emergency management, to learn how to become a volunteer in CISD, or to donate to this worthy cause, visit the POPPA Web site at WWW.POPPAINC.COM

Critical Incident Stess Debriefing is a recognized part of the Incident Command System.  Emergency Managers must be conversant with this aspect of their role.  CISD defusing sessions and debriefings of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel as well as other emergency services is part of the organizational structure of the Incident Command System


 It is interesting to note that the United States Army has “Combat Stress Units” that utilize Critical stress debriefings and defusing sessions with combat troops. These “Combat Stress Units” serve as medics and go into action with the troops. These units work with soldiers right after experiencing the traumatic effects of modern combat situations. They are truly “peers” who can provide the what the Army recognizes as a “combat stress control mission”.  The “Wolfhounds” of the US Army 25th Infantry Division have examples of such “Combat Stress Units” in action.  To read more, visit the Defend America Website at


To read other articles about CISD, to to:


If you are a police officer who needs POPPA, here is how to get help:

Call:  1-888-COPS-COP or 1-888-267-7267



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