KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- In support of the Air Force’s Violence Prevention Program, Kirtland has hired its first violence prevention integrator.
Edith Wegner, who has 20 years of civil service experience, will lead Team Kirtland in its violence prevention efforts. Her position falls under the Comprehensive Airman Fitness umbrella.
“I am looking forward to working with people, and collaborating with commanders, first sergeants and helping agencies,” Wegner said.
Wegner brings a wealth of experience to the position. Her former jobs include crisis substance abuse therapist and child and family psychological assessment, treatment and case manager. She has worked in many Army and Air Force helping agencies, including Airman and Family Readiness Center, Military and Family Life Counselor and the Family Advocacy Program.
“My diverse experience within treatment agencies that typically deal with the outcomes of violence have prepared me well to understand the intricacies of why and how violence happens and how to create successful prevention strategies,” Wegner said.
She said establishment of the program demonstrates the Air Force's commitment to universal violence prevention. Her position is designed to provide a focal point for prevention efforts and arming Team Kirtland with tools to combat interpersonal and self-directed violence, which includes domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, suicide, workplace violence, dating violence, and stalking.
“A basic idea to recognize is that we all have some propensity for violence. My role is to help people understand how they are expressing it and how to reshape it by changing thoughts, communication and action,” Wegner said.
She looks forward to researching problems and developing prevention strategies.
“I investigate numbers and sentinel events and look for patterns, risk factors, strengths, cultural factors, and other aspects of interest that emerge,” she said. “I present an integrated picture of what is occurring in the Kirtland population. Ultimately, my job is to help others improve.”
She will work with the base helping agencies that typically see the results of violence, developing strategies to address various challenges. She will also serve as a violence prevention liaison and consultant to the commander and other base leaders.
“This position is an opportunity for a grassroots effort to re-socialize people and help them think differently about violence, how and why it occurs, and what they can do to change perspectives in order to change actions,” Wegner said. “The VPP is peer-driven program, and its success will be a cooperative effort across the base.”
In addition to managing the VPP at Kirtland, Wegner oversees the Green Dot Training program, which prepares organizations to implement a strategy of violence prevention that reduces power-based interpersonal violence and self-directed violence. Those interested in becoming a Green Dot implementer, can contact Wegner at 846-5556.