Over the last several months we have seen protests, gun violence and anti-police sentiments break out in cities around the country it has made national headlines. Unfortunately, the news doesn’t report the toll these circumstances take on officers across the country. If we truly want them to work at their best there needs to be a constant spotlight on the unique stressors those working in law enforcement face.
Our goal is to go home at the end of the night. If you are blessed to work your entire career without getting physically injured, consider yourself lucky. But, as we know, countless officers, and civilian staff members, go home daily with an emotional toll that few could possibly understand… Continue reading
On the last day of National Suicide Prevention month it is time again for us to reevaluate our work to prevent law enforcement suicides and rededicate ourselves to the work that must be done.
This has been a busy month with lots of new information resources offered about suicide prevention for law enforcement.
What is really important is that we are starting to realize that we must think comprehensively when it comes to officer safety, wellness and suicide prevention. Most of the problems we see are just signs and symptoms of underlying problems that we have to address is many ways.
PTSD – It’s time to stop talking and start learning
You might just save a life and that life might be your own.
Learn a little about PTSD today. Then learn about Trauma
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – National Center For PTSD
Who Develops PTSD?
Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make… Continue reading
This wellness and resilience information is suitable for all first responders and your family members. We will have a live audience and will record it for others to watch, later for free, on the CopsAlive.com YouTube channel.
With all that is happening in the world today maintaining your health and wellness is of paramount importance. Law enforcement professionals, other first responders and members of the military are normally faced with the most challenging situations in the world and now with a new global pandemic to face your personal wellness is mission critical.
John Marx, CPP
Law Enforcement Chaplain Cary Friedman
NYPD Detective First Grade (Ret.) Mordecai Z. Dzikansky
Sgt. Clarke Paris, LVMPD (ret.)
Tracie Paris, RN, BSN
Lois James, Ph.D.
Stephen James, Ph.D.
Christie Ward, CSP
Time: Duration 129 minutes
Who: All First Responders and Your Family Members
What: Online discussion of everyday wellness challenges and resilience strategies
EDITORS NOTE:Thomas Cline, a 50-year law enforcement veteran is past president of the International Association of Ethics Trainers, a writer/trainer at the Chicago Police Academy and a consultant. He’s authored Cop Tales! (Never Spit in a Man’s Face…Unless His Mustache is on Fire) and Surviving Storms. Non-Tactical Career Survival for Law Enforcers. In this article he writes about the men and women in law enforcement, promiscuous sexual behavior and suicide.
Woman without her man is nothing – Hold on! Before you decide, hey, this guy is a jerk, and stop reading, or hey, finally a macho man, I challenge you to punctuate the title.
We men often make fools of ourselves attempting to be liked by a woman. Women, though few know it, hold all the trump cards in picking partners. They pick us. Until about fifty years ago I believe women knew that. However, the culture has been telling them that they are the same as men in sexual matters and, because it has been repeated often enough, many have bought the lie. In accepting the idea that we are the same, women have relinquished their best man-selecting trump card: “No, where is the ring?” Women weren’t always virtuous, but they were smart. You see, men and women engage in sex for different reasons. Men pretend love for sex, and women pretend sex for love. Mull this assertion awhile.
Guys cannot win in the battle of the sexes. When a man is attracted to a woman and gets physically close enough to have his testosterone react with her pheromones, especially if she coos and looks at him seductively, he is captured. During the chemical reaction the man reaches a point where the decision-making part of his brain is unable to function. According to… Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE: Guest contributor Sean Peterson is a patrolman with the Taunton Police Department in Southeastern Massachusetts and a member of the regional Critical Incident Stress Management team. He is also the owner and performance director at Chaos Fitness.
I sat down to write this in the wake of New York City Police Department’s ninth suicide this year. The current Blue H.E.L.P. statistics stand at 131 suicides on the year, with four months to go. Protesters are literally begging police to commit suicide in Portland, Oregon. With what feels like everyone and everything against us, how do we rise above the darkness? Below I have outlined some thoughts and ideas surrounding mental and physical health we first responders can easily employ in such trying times.
A Physical and Mental Approach
“Combat” or “Square” Breathing
Here’s the simple process…
1. Intently breath in with strong focus- slowly counting 1, 2, 3, 4
2. hold that breath counting 1, 2, 3 ,4
3. slowly and consistently exhale that breath 1, 2, 3, 4
Simply put, combat/square breathing is an effective way to calm the nervous system. It is a very basic introduction to the world of mindfulness, creating space between ourselves and our reactions. It brings our focus to the present moment by concentrating our attention on our breathing, allowing us to slow things down for a while, so our bodies can catch up. Consider implementing this technique to offset the adrenaline spikes and stressors associated with hot calls, inter-department nonsense and the obstacles of everyday life. The beauty of this technique is… Continue reading
Last year was the first year that the number of reported law enforcement suicides exceeded the number of Line of Duty Deaths. It’s happening again this year.
As of September 9, 2019 Blue H.E.L.P. has verified 142 suicides while the NLEOMF has only reported 83 Line of Duty Deaths.
So what are you willing to do to stop this problem from happening at your agency?
Do you have a suicide prevention program in your agency?
Well, you no longer have an excuse for not having a program. With a video produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Working Minds Program and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and our CopsAlive.com roll call discussion guide you can create a ready made program the moment you finish reading this page.
One of your peers is suffering; maybe you are too! They want to be good at their job and actually make the world a better place. However, one too many dead baby calls, and too many months on the night shift with all the drunks and people shoving their cell phones in your face and your partner has had enough. Of course all of this comes on top of the increased violence in your area and the unending tide of gang members plying their drug trade in your neighborhood and your peers are telling you to “suck it up” and “shake it off” — but you can’t. It’s bad enough that work is unending trauma and tragedy, but your spouse is nagging you about not being able to cover the bills this month and why you can’t make your kids recital tomorrow afternoon. Maybe you have experienced some of this too? So what do you tell your partner about why it’s important to take care of yourself? How do you endure this job until retirement and not eat your gun first?
The recent surge of police officer suicides should be a red flag to what is happening within our profession. We need to deal with law enforcement suicide as a symptom of something much more complex and insidious that is eroding our people from within. We spend lots and lots of money on technology to improve policing while at the same time forgetting that law enforcement is a people business. If we don’t take care of our people, they won’t be able to take care of THE PEOPLE!
Recently, we were in Washington D.C. attending a banquet called Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide. This first time banquet was held in conjunction with National Police Week and was sponsored by BLUE H.E.L.P. Its purpose was to honor and recognize the service of offices who made that fateful decision and their survivors. It is Blue HELP’s mission to put names and faces to the men and women of Law Enforcement whose emotional injuries become too much to bear. Although the number of Law Enforcement personnel who take their own lives typically exceeds… Continue reading
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