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Pflugerville police chief honored for suicide prevention efforts during First Responders Bowl

It's been an ongoing goal for Police Chief Jessica Robledo to end first responder suicide. On Monday, she was honored for her efforts at the First Responders Bowl.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — Smashing the stigma. That's how one local police chief describes the work that earned her an award at Monday's First Responders Bowl in Dallas.

It's a pretty difficult topic that Pflugerville Police Chief Robledo wants to tackle: first responder suicide. But it's a job she feels needs continuous work.

"Officers respond to critical situations. Who do you call when you need help? You call an officer. Officers don't wear capes, we weren't born in this polyester, we weren't born with these badges on our chest – we're human," Robledo said.  

She said officers see the worst in our community and oftentimes carry that burden with no help.

"It's ok to say ... 'I'm not ok and I need help,'" Robledo said. "It's ok to say and do that."

That's why she created this video, called "Smashing the Stigma."

"Let's talk about the elephant in the room: What is killing us? We are," part of the video says. The goal is to smash the stigma that it's not ok for officers to be not ok.

"I asked police officers from the Pflugerville Police Department to be the actors because whoever sees it can see themselves in that position," Robledo said. 

The video and her efforts earned Robledo an award at the 2019 First Responders Bowl. But she'll tell you, this award wasn't for her but for the officers who trust her.

"They had the courage and the trust in me to believe in what they were doing to be part of this, so it's their award, not mine," she said.

When it comes to smashing the stigma, Robledo thinks, "We can do better, we should do better, we will do better."

WATCH: Report: More first responders die by suicide than in the line of duty


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