Richland Police Captain Receives Outstanding Service Award - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Police Captain Receives Outstanding Service Award

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- A Richland police captain receives an outstanding service award Tuesday for his work to help law enforcement officers through some of their darkest hours.

Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb calls the station his place of work, but Tuesday night he'll be honored next door at city hall for his service to fellow law enforcement officers.

The station may be where his desk is located, but his real work happens in the field where he supports those who need him the most.

Captain Cobb heads up a team of officers trained to support law enforcement when they face traumatic incidents on the job.

For 20 years, Cobb has helped first responders and their families cope with the stress that often stays with them after they leave the scene.

"Internalizing all of the stuff that you deal with on the street, everybody else's tragedy, is harmful to you. A police officer and firefighter will see more human suffering and misery in the first three months of their career than a normal person will see in a lifetime," said Cobb.

Law enforcement agencies across the region are trained by Cobb to help officers deal with critical stress.

Officials say it's an invaluable resource.

"We're tough and we're law enforcement. We're supposed to be able to take care of the community, but there are times when we need to be taken care of and that's okay. That's good that we can know that. That's good that we can reach out and know there's a source out there that will be able to take care of our needs," said Deputy Joe Lusignan, Benton County Sheriff's Office.

Cobb dedicates his time on and off the clock to the cause.

"Mike is one of those guys. He's very supportive of the officers as individuals as well as his department, as well as his community," Lusignan said.

"It's almost a indescribable feeling of being able to help because so often we're helpless. We can't do anything. Here we can do something. You can step up," Cobb said.

Captain Cobb has traveled across the country and around the globe to provide his support to first responders including trips to the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine, and 9/11.

Cobb receives the award at Tuesday night's city council meeting at 7:30pm.