We are working with the Sheriff’s Department of the City and County of Denver to understand the causes and consequences of high turnover among deputies. We have conducted interviews and distributed a survey to staff to ask them about the difficulties of their job and what changes may help better support them and their well-being. Our results show that deputies at the Denver Sheriff Department are facing exceptionally high levels of burnout, even in comparison with other frontline workers. In fact, more than half of deputies responding to the survey had high or severe levels of burnout.
Importantly, we also found that deputies that indicated they had someone to talk to about their day-to-day problems reported lower levels of burnout. Therefore, we are currently collaborating with agency staff to design and test solutions to reduce burnout, in particular, improving peer-to-peer support and increasing take-up of wellness support services.