Scholarship Program

WJOA Scholarship Recipient Report


(Application is located at the bottom of this page.)

Melissa Arps is currently a member of WJOA who recently received a scholarship for training that she was interested in, and her Police Department was not able to afford to send her.  Here is Melissa’s scholarship/training report.


I am a police officer with the City of Two Rivers and have been there for ten years working patrol and as an SRO.  In my “free time” I am also a State Certified Counselor in Training.  One of my passions is working with juveniles; the other is working with my fellow officers in regards to CISM, mental health, and LE stressors.  We see the need for helping fellow officers but often times there is nothing in place to do so and we drop the ball on helping each other instead of just the citizens we serve.



Some agencies around the US have Peer Support Teams and in hopes of helping fellow officers, I have wanted to get a team started in my county for a long time.  In looking into getting a team started, I found that there was not any local training on peer support teams or any formal training on how to get a team started.  I wanted to make sure that in putting this team together that everything was done right and the best that it could be right from the start.



I was referred numerous times to The Counseling Team International in San Bernardino CA as the model for peer support.  I found that they host training for Basic Peer Support which covers how to develop a Peer Support Program, how you should help as a peer supporter and what fellow peer supporters should be trained in; which was exactly what I was looking for.  However, the training was in California and my department definitely could not cover the costs of this amazing training.



 I decided to apply for this grant right before the deadline and the start of the training.  The application was a breeze to complete and took no time at all.  Within a couple of days I heard back that I received the grant and organizing everything was so easy and stress-free.  I attended the above described training and have since applied what I learned on numerous occasions.  I have presented on Peer Support to several Chiefs and Sheriffs, started Manitowoc County’s Peer Support Team from getting all dept heads on board, writing a policy, explaining the program to all officers, collecting nominations, conducted peer supporter interviews, and put together peer supporter training.  I have since been in contact with numerous other agencies on my own time as somewhat of a consultant in helping them in start their own Peer Support Teams.  I am assisting other depts. in the same steps from presenting to dept heads, helping with policy, and giving them step by step guidelines to follow in starting their own team.  Without the scholarship much of this would not have been possible!

Wisconsin Juvenile Officers Association,
Mar 15, 2016, 7:08 PM