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Healing the badge: Program helps police cope with trauma


By John Simerman
Contra Costa Times

CONTRA COSTA, Calif. — He smiles now, with earnest, gleaming eyes, but Joseph Banuelos easily recalls standing in his yard two years ago, shooting rounds into the grass and thrusting a gun in his mouth.

A state drug agent who had worked in West Contra Costa, buying undercover on the same Richmond streets where he grew up, Banuelos was arrested twice over a weekend for driving drunk, he said. A year earlier, he had blown a 0.26 on a breathalyzer — more than three times the legal limit.

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