SPOKANE – A family’s tragedy can be an officer’s normal day, so the Spokane Police Department has a special team of chaplains who respond to the tragedies for the officers’ well-being. One of them recalled a shooting at the Rockwood Cancer Treatment in early July, saying it was horrific.
Spokane Police Department Chaplain Ed Hoffman got the call to respond to the seventh floor of Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center, where a man had shot and killed his wife, then himself.
His first job was to check on the officers. On scene, he said, they usually say that they are okay, but it is his job to make sure they truly are okay. After that, he helps where officers ask him to step in. On Tuesday, he delivered the news of the tragedy the family members of those involved.
Hoffman said it is his job to create a presence of compassionate care. In this case, because of where it happened, it was more than just a family tragedy. It was a community tragedy.
“It’s a total toll,” he said. “It’s chaos for everybody on that floor, in that building, the Rockwood/Deaconess community. For patients that’re in that building, in the facilities. When you have a crisis response like we had that day, it’s shaking a core of a community.”
Rockwood has asked Hoffman to help facilitate its “critical incident stress management debriefings.” Additionally, Rockwood will offer its own resources and staff to reach out to other employees and patients to talk about what happened.