Police work to recover from traumatic investigations

DENVER -- As the Denver Police Department begins to investigate the death of a child in the Montbello neighborhood, it also begins the process to heal after witnessing a tragic scene.

Investigators found the body of 7-year-old Jordan Vong on Tuesday night and said it was intentionally concealed.

"Just seeing the up-close emotion involved in this and the roller-coaster ride in a 48-hour time span -- especially involving child -- it’s eye opening," Denver Police Cmdr. Joe Montoya said Wednesday.

He choked up a few times during a news conference while talking about the investigation.

That's not surprising to Dr. Sara Garrido, a psychologist who runs Code 4 Counseling, and specializes in helping first responders after traumatic events.

"It’s those kid cases that generally do get to them, because it feels very personal," Garrido said. "And what the kids cases do to them, is it leaves them feeling helpless."

Garrido advises police -- as well as parents, teachers and children -- to be open and talk about their emotions. She also recommends they write about them and do not keep everything inside.

"On the inside, a lot of these folks have that bravado, they want to be strong for their families, they want to be strong for other officers and what we want them to understand -- is it’s not an issue of not being strong," Garrido said.

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