UNI officer returns from Ground Zero

Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2002

Milissa Wright, lieutenant, UNI Department of Public Safety, (319) 273-2712
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

Lt. Milissa Wright of the UNI Department of Public Safety recently returned from a weeklong stay at Ground Zero in New York City, where she and other members of an Iowa contingency, helped NYC police officers de-stress. The effort was organized by the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA), and allowed Wright and others from across the nation to talk with the officers about the Sept. 11 incident, assisting them with post-traumatic stress disorder and other shock-related symptoms

'Even though it's been a while, a lot of the officers we encountered are still in stages of shock,' explained Wright. 'They are autopilot, where a person just keeps going, without having had time to stop and think about the tragedy. POPPA is confident that a number of suicides were prevented through this effort.'

Wright works third shift, but will return messages to set up interview times.