From the beginning, Axon’s mission has been to support first responders as they weather the many challenges of their work. Axon’s products and services were all designed with this goal in mind. Axon Aid, the philanthropic wing of our company, was a direct result of that goal. It supports first responders through three key pillars: Emergency Response, Wellness, and Charity. Each initiative provides tangible support for agencies, officers and their families at no cost to them.
When extraordinary situations call, Axon answers with its Emergency Response team. These self-sufficient volunteers head to disaster situations such as storms and wildfires to provide assistance through typical disaster recovery and drone support. The team first deployed to help the Baton Rouge Police Department when Hurricane Barry hit in 2019, but it’s since assisted with several natural disasters.
For example, during the Arizona wildfires of 2021, Axon disaster recovery volunteers helped to rebuild a community resource center. According to Jeanette Aird, the Southwest Division Emergency/Disaster Services Director, “What would have taken us an entire day to set up and clean, with the help of both teams, we were able to knock it all out in a matter of hours.”
Meanwhile, Axon Aid drone operators collected photos and video from above the disaster zone, helping authorities to identify citizens in need of rescue and critical infrastructure failures that would need repair or replacement.
“Axon Aid, both the drone team and the recover team, were a major asset when they deployed into the Southwest Telegraph and Mescal fire response,” Aird went on. “Their team was amazing and flexible.”
Axon Aid has a focused online library of culturally competent mental health and wellness resources created to empower public safety professionals with actionable mental health advice. These resources offer a confidential online mental health and wellness resource for officers, their families and their agencies.
Wellness provides a wellspring of knowledge on the realities of mental health in the public safety profession and how to maintain an even keel despite the potentially traumatic experiences had on the job. To date, we’ve created four video series, each addressing a specific topic in the field. Our most recent series discussed techniques for increasing mental resiliency with Courtney Runnels, the crisis support supervisor for the Grand Prairie Police Department in Texas. She explained how the practice of gratitude can improve your outlook, emphasizes the importance of grounding and shows how tactical breathing and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR) therapy can calm agitated nerves.
Another series focuses on the importance of peer support, how to establish a peer support team and specific peer support techniques such as comfort dogs and pairing similar experiences. A third details the science of trauma, revealing how the body reacts to the things we see in the line of duty. The fourth describes the importance of wellness departments at law enforcement agencies and described practical steps to take toward establishing one, and the fifth explores how families of law enforcement can create networks of support.
We’ve also assembled scenario training videos in which experts uniquely equipped to understand the demands of law enforcement share tactical advice. Both include short fictional scenarios that the expert then breaks down in detail. The Always On video features police spouse and forensic and public safety psychologist Dr. Nameeta Sahni walking through 10 tips for improving communication between law enforcement and their loved ones. The Two Families video has McHenry County Conservation District Chief of Police Laura King break down how law enforcement officers can empower and support each other for greater mental resiliency.
Finally, Axon Aid has created a series of documentaries that highlight individual first responders as they share their stories about trauma, mental health and resilience in the field. From adapting to paralyzed life to healing from wounds both mental and physical, these videos provide both experiences to which law enforcement officers can relate and advice from seasoned practitioners who have been through the same challenges and found solutions that work.
Axon Aid also pays particular attention to the needs of first responders through cash donations and employee charity events. Law enforcement is dangerous work, and officers occasionally lose their lives in the line of duty. That’s why Axon Aid established its Fallen Officer Fund, through which people can donate to directly support the families of recently deceased law enforcement agents. The Fallen Officer Fund has supported more than 100 families to date.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, institutions across the country found themselves shockingly ill-equipped to safely address the crisis. Personal protective equipment shortages led to increased risk for public safety professionals. Axon Aid rose to the occasion by distributing 1,250,000 masks through the Got You Covered campaign. In total, Axon Aid distributed surgical masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to over 7,000 agencies representing more than 1.5 million public safety professionals.
Getting support from Axon
Whether it’s mental health resources, disaster relief or supporting families of fallen officers, Axon Aid is here to help. If you, your agency or your family needs assistance, you can contact us confidentially through our website and we’ll find a way to get the help you need.
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