Chief making mental health a priority as Collierville Police move forward after mass shooting

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — In a one-on-one interview, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane told FOX13 he’s making mental health a priority as his force continues to heal from Thursday’s mass shooting.

Chief Lane was one of the first people to go through the front entrance of Kroger, so he knows how the other officers are feeling.

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He said it took him until Friday to finally wind down.

To help his officers, he is offering counseling and focusing on the positive.

“I did not see one person that hesitated to go into that building,” Lane said.

The Collierville Police Chief has a sense of pride when he talks about how his team responded to last week’s mass shooting. He calls it a team effort from the firefighters who stormed through Kroger in helmets and vests to help from outside agencies.

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“We all had one job, and that was to stop the shooter,” he said. “So rank, position, it didn’t matter if you were detective, it didn’t matter if you were a street cop, it didn’t matter where you were. We all knew what our mission was.”

He emphasized it is important to remember the heroes on the frontlines are also people with their own emotions and trauma.

That’s why he’s thankful for his nine chaplains who just graduated from the department’s program a month ago.

Three of them showed up at the scene. One even offered to pray with him.

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“At that point, you have a heavy load on your shoulder, and to have someone stand beside you and just, you know, say, ‘hey, we are here with you, you are not alone’ - it was an amazing time for me,” Lane told FOX13.

As Chief Lane continues to focus on his officers and the investigation, he wants people to remember one thing.

“We don’t want people living in fear. That’s my thing. We have a choice. I know it’s hard because when something like this happens, it makes you afraid, but we need to think about all the good things going on in our life,” he said.”

Chief Lane says he is working on figuring out how to reopen the Kroger with other community partners safely.

It’s currently closed until further notice.

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