Tucson Police Chief Chad Kasmar says staffing numbers are stabilizing and attrition is down almost 60 percent year to date.

Its an honor for me to take ownership of the fact that we didnt get everything right the last few years, he told KGUN this week.

Now approaching two years at the helm of the Tucson Police Department (TPD), Chief Kasmar says the department has done more to invest in its staff. That has led to two pay raises, equipment upgrades and a sharper focus on mental wellness.

We see levels of trauma in this community every day that folks cant imagine, he explained. Where youre absorbing the grief of a community member.

Thats where Struggle Well comes in: a program the Boulder Crest Foundation introduced which teaches post-traumatic growth.

Ive never in my 23 years of doing this type of work, seen such a powerful program, said Chief Kasmar.

It arrived at the TPD shortly before Kasmar became chief.

He then made it a week-long class held once a month, reaching about 450 TPD staff members and recruits.

This month will be my nineteenth class that Im opening up, Kasmar explained.

He starts every class opening up about trauma at work or home, encouraging others to do the same.

I tell a few different stories. One of thems the story of me losing my father unexpectedly and a little too early, he shared.

The class also dives into conversations about physical spiritual and financial wellness, breathing techniques and ways to be mindful, grateful and reflective.

When you dive into your personal experiences, youre willing to share those with other people, that comes at a personal cost. And youre exhausted at the end of that Its not a trauma competition. Its just how life has impacted you and how you share those experiences so others can enrich their lives from your experiences, revealed Chief Kasmar

Its not required for TPD staff, but several officers tell KGUN 9 its a powerful experience.

Ive been through a lot in my career, but Ive been through a lot away from my career as well, my personal life, said TPD Class Officer Jason Bentley. Not having a clear mind coming to this profession and working in the field is not gonna help the people that really need the help.

Chief Kasmar says the TPD is helping other agencies across the state including the Pima County Sheriffs Department start their own Struggle Well programs.

We know its changing lives and were gonna keep driving that investment in the department, said Chief Kasmar.