February 1, 2017
By Guest Blogger

REACH’s Training is for More Than Volunteers!

We may still be in the thick of winter, but spring is right around the corner! Or, at the very least, REACH’s Spring Training is right around the corner. Generally, we offer this training for new staff and volunteers, but it is also open to community members who want to learn more about domestic violence. Last year, Officer Kathleen Poirier of the Wellesley Police Department joined us for the training. Read on to hear about her experience…

The author, Wellesley Police Officer Kathleen Poirier

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Wellesley Police Officer and have been for 7 years. I was recently appointed the Domestic Violence Liaison for the town. My duty is to follow up with all parties involved in a domestic violence incident and provide resources for those parties if they wish. Prior to becoming a Police Officer, I was a Public Safety Dispatcher for Wellesley for 3 years. My husband is also a Police Officer and we have a 3 year old boy.

What made you decide to take part in REACH’s training?

Being appointed the DV Officer, I wanted to learn where I can refer survivors to after a DV incident. As Police Officer’s clear a DV scene where someone is essentially arrested, we ask the survivors if they are interested in a 209A (restraining order) and walk them through the process. Then we clear the scene not knowing what happened in court and further. I learned of REACH through our prior DV Liaison who spoke highly about REACH. I then researched REACH and decided to attend training seminars.

What were some things you learned that surprised you?

I was surprised by how REACH employees got closely involved with a DV survivor, sometimes transporting them to court for a DV trial or obtaining a 209A (restraining order). I was also surprised me were the amount of volunteers that attended REACH trainings and were willing to volunteer their time to DV survivors.

How do you think you will apply what you learned in the training moving forward?

DV calls are the most dangerous calls that Police Officers can respond to. All that I have learned from REACH, I am sharing with my co-workers and providing them with REACH hotline business cards in English and Spanish to hand out to DV incidents. I certainly have learned that REACH is a resource I can refer a survivor to where I feel comfortable knowing REACH is there to help. Also, I am more confident since attending REACH trainings, with speaking to DV survivors. (The how to’s and how to not speak).

What would you tell someone who was thinking of joining the REACH training?

I would tell someone to attend all seminars if possible because there is so much key information REACH provides. Everyone who attended the seminars and taught the seminars were so welcoming and easy to talk to. REACH provides incredible seminars on numerous DV topics that I cannot wait to attend more.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I wanted to thank Jessica Teperow and Lauren Montanaro for welcoming me and allowing me to attend trainings. I will certainly be in contact with them to attend future trainings. Thank you to REACH for having these trainings because what they teach is so important for those looking to work with REACH and work with DV survivors.

If you are interested in volunteering with REACH, or just want to learn more about domestic violence and how you can prevent it, register now for the upcoming training! Click here for more details.