The Carmel Police Dept. and Methodist Sports Medicine have entered a partnership that is the first of its kind in Indiana.
Through the First Line Tactical Athlete Program, Methodist Sports Medicine will provide an in-house athletic trainer for CPD who will be available to offer individualized screenings and treatments specifically designed for police officers.
“We’ll be providing on-site evaluations for the officers to make sure that not only are they fit for duty but they also remain safe and healthy while serving the City of Carmel,” Methodist Sports Medicine CEO Marty Rosenberg said.
A typical day for a police officer can include everything from hours of sitting in a car to chasing a suspect on foot while wearing heavy police gear. Those scenarios and others can lead to officers suffering acute and chronic pain, most often in the back, CPD Chief Jim Barlow said. The new program is designed to provide information to prevent injuries and offer quick treatment if they occur.
Barlow said the program should lead to officers missing less work, and he expects to pay less overtime costs to cover shifts missed because of injury.
“The healthier and more fit we can keep our officers, the better service we can provide our community,” Barlow said.
CPD is renovating a third-floor room at CPD headquarters to provide a dedicated space for its full-time athletic trainer. The program is offered at no cost to officers and is expected to be fully running in approximately one month.
Carmel-based Methodist Sports Medicine already offers athletic training to fire departments (although not in Carmel), and it wants to expand the service to other law enforcement agencies in the future. Rosenberg said it made perfect sense to start with CPD.
“Carmel became that city of choice first because they are our backyard,” he said. “They are our hometown police officers, and we couldn’t think of a better place to roll out this program for law enforcement than in our own backyard.”
Cincinnati-based athletic trainer Maura Shae is helping launch the program in Carmel as she has done with similar Methodist Sports Medicine programs in Indiana.
“We want to provide high-quality health care to as many public safety employees and as many municipalities as possible, because that’s what they deserve,” Shae said. “They spend all their time dedicated to us as civilians, and we need to give a little more love and care to what they’re doing every day.”