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Resources put in place to address ripple effects of Enoch murders

Posted at 7:41 AM, Jan 12, 2023

ENOCH, Utah — As funeral preparations are made for the Haight family, ripple effects are being felt throughout the small community and officials explain supporting law enforcement is a high priority.

Just over a week ago, Tausha Haight, her five children, and her mother, Gail Earl, were allegedly shot and killed by Tausha's husband, Michael Haight before he turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.

By now, the reports are written and the investigation is wrapping up, but the road to emotional healing in the community is just beginning.

Read: Community in shock, mourning the loss of Enoch family found dead in home

Most of the officers who responded to the tragedy had some connection to the victims, so the psychological impact of such a devastating event can be profound and long-term.

“We have to give ourselves permission to be vulnerable and to seek help and to know that’s okay and that stigma has faded away,” explained Chief Darin Adams of the Cedar City Police Department.

Officers from Enoch, Parowan and Cedar City, along with Iron County Sheriff's Deputies all responded to the scene last Wednesday.

Adams said he conducted his first staff meeting since the tragedy on Tuesday.

“And one of them, I said; ‘how are you doing? And he’s like, 'I’m doing great' as he is shaking his head no and telling me; 'yeah, I’m doing fine,'" Adams explained. "It’s still pretty raw and those guys are struggling but they are on a good foundation upward.”

About five years ago, Adams and fellow police administrators invested in therapy for their officers. That investment is making a big impact now.

"This trauma doesn’t end when they walk out the door and go home, it carries with them," Adams explained. "So everything we can do to try to address that, both for them, their spouse and their children, is a comprehensive approach, we are committed…and we should be!”

Brent Jex is a retired officer of the West Jordan Police Department and with the Fraternal Order of Police. He helped leaders in Iron County finalize the grant which brought in state money to fund their mental health programs.

“It was so refreshing to hear that administrators down there had already been talking about wellness," Jex told FOX 13 News. "And this is while the officers were still on scene and coordinating those resources.”

Adams said he's trying to set a good example by taking advantage of the available resources.

“I grew up in the ages of; ‘suck it up and just go on,'" Adams commented. "And I was able to do that, but I’m no different, I went to therapy yesterday morning, and it was great, it was good for me and I want my officers to know that I’m no different, that I’m going to do everything I ask them to do.”

While it will undoubtedly take time for the community and law enforcement in Enoch to cope with the loss of the Haight family, leaders say they will continue to be advocates for mental wellness for as long as it takes.