Sheriff Bouchard wants more mental health support for deputies in wake of recent tragedies

The Oakland County Shefiff's Office have been dealing with a number of high-profile tragedies including mass shootings at Oxford High School, Michigan State University and last week at a Rochester Hills splashpad.

"The reality is we have a dangerous world and we have men and women willing to go in it and face that evil down," said Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

But over the weekend tragedy hit home when an Oakland County deputy investigating a stolen car was shot to death Saturday night in Detroit. Bouchard called it an ambush shooting.

"You can just see in the face and the eyes of our people how soul-crushing this is," he said.

The tragedy took place just one week after the random Oakland County splash pad attack.

"We flew in a couple of specialists who are an amazing team that help debrief public safety and military from crisis situations like what we just had at the Rochester Hills splash pad," Bouchard said. "They left on Saturday."

No one could foresee that a few hours later, Deputy Bradley Reckling would be killed in the line of duty (CLICK HERE to make a donation to his family). 

Sheriff Bouchard says the past few years have been tough for his office and now they have to move forward without one of their own.

"I’ve been in this profession for a very long time and it used to be, 'Hey it’s part of the job, get back out there,'" he said. "And we know that doesn’t work."

"But after that situation in the critical moment resolves itself, you have to give them the support, help and process to work through that and that comes with resources."

As the investigation continues into the murder of Deputy Reckling at Park Grove and Schoener, The sheriff says lawmakers must do their part to help get these much-needed resources to law enforcement agencies.

"We need resources and that falls at the appropriators," Bouchard said. "So whether you are a federal appropriator, state appropriator I’m calling on the county commission and county executive’s office to have an emergency appropriation to add one full-time peer-to-peer person to our staff. we have one now."

FOX 2 reached out to the Oakland County Executive’s Office regarding funding for the Oakland County Sheriff's Office Peer Support Program and we received a statement which reads:

"Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter will do everything necessary to support our deputies during this difficult time. Additional peer-to-peer assistance is an important way to address the mental and emotional trauma that results from these tragedies, and we’ll work with the sheriff's office to ensure this help is available."

"We need resources - the federal government, the state government, the county government's number one job is to protect it’s community," Bouchard said. "And I think right at that list to support and protect the people that protect the community."