The Law Enforcement Survival Institute is proposing a new policing initiative we call Wellness Focused Policing.
Wellness Focused Policing is a people focused policing strategy to promote wellness within law-enforcement first, and then to spread that sense of care, and focus on well-being, outwardly to the people served by the police.
When we are appalled by police officers doing things that are abhorrent and we want to fix the entire profession with new legislative initiatives, I think our society is focusing on the wrong solutions and those solutions might actually hurt the first responders who are doing everything right.
First, I believe that in order to be effective, change in policing practices must come from within the policing profession itself, and secondly, I believe the solutions lie in leading the people working within the profession to be their best, then supporting and sustaining exceptional performance. We must challenge everyone within the profession… Continue reading
For those of you who loved the Armor Your Self book, but wanted to share that information with your peers, the Law Enforcement Survival Institute has just released several different Study & Discussion Guide Packages designed to assist individuals, small study groups and law enforcement book clubs.
The two study packages, built around the book Armor Your Self: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement, include either 5 or 10 copies of the Armor Your Self: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement resilience building textbooks. These collections are a Do-It-Yourself package for book clubs, small groups or academy classes that can’t afford more expensive training, but want to explore the Armor Your Self textbook more deeply. These two packages include… Continue reading
I recently signed up for an online, zoom-style writing course.
I am attempting to learn more about how to write with purpose and structure.
This past session, which was an hour long, focused on letting go of an outcome or agenda. I did not really understand what that meant in its entirety when applying it to writing.
As students, we heard the topic from the moderator and then began writing, without stopping, for 10 minutes. The goal is to listen to our minds, keep the pen moving and not focusing on perfection. We were instructed to focus only on what our mind was saying. Then, she reads a second topic, and we repeat the process. Just keep moving the pen and listen.
So, that is what I did or so I thought.
After the first ten minutes, we took a minute or two to finish our thoughts and get ready for the second topic.
This time, the moderator repeated the first topic, word for word, and then said, “Go.”
I sat there for at LEAST 2 minutes. Did she forget she already read this topic? Do I type her error in the chat to let her know? There are over three hundred people on this Zoom, didn’t anyone else catch that? What the heck is going on?
And then…the AHA moment.
I already had it in my head, we were doing this session the same way we had done it before.
I was attached to the outcome.
I expected a second topic.
The moderator ignored the chat comments (from all the participants) and continued forward. After the second ten-minute writing session, the moderator told us she repeated the first topic on purpose.
She gave us a live experience of what it is like to be attached to an outcome. Man, That. Was. Good!
Looking back, I recalled several ways I had been “attached!” I thought for sure I would be married at least five years before I had a child. I was pregnant within six months of my wedding. I thought for sure I would work in the medical field my entire life. I changed careers at age 34 to law enforcement. I thought for sure I would work in law enforcement for at least 20 years. I retired after 13.5 years.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute has just released two Do-It-Yourself Small Agency Curriculum Packages, to assist academy classes or small agencies that can’t afford more expensive training programs.
These two packages, based on the book Armor Your Self: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement, include either 10 or 20 copies of the Armor Your Self: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement resilience building textbooks, plus a 148-page training curriculum that licenses your agency to facilitate the Armor Your Self basic training program in-house for your personnel. The package includes a full, six-session, basic training curriculum PDF with six individual session lesson plans, a set of 80 PowerPoint slides for each lesson, activities and discussion questions, plus… Continue reading
Our friends at the Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) is seeking a full time Police Psychologist or Mental Health Specialist. The position provides confidential counseling to all staff, crisis intervention services, supervises the peer support team, and provides training to many areas of the department. The successful candidate will have clinical and crisis‐management experience as well as training, presentation, and leadership skills.
For years Fort Collins Police Services has been a leader in providing the best in law enforcement psychological services and they have employed a full‐time in‐house Police Psychologist for over 30 years. Their Peer Support Team began operation in 1986. As a result, they have created an atmosphere of self‐care and acceptance of mental health services. Psychological services are fully integrated into their system including proactive intervention to support staff after a critical incident. Most recently, they’ve added bi‐annual voluntary mental health check‐ups for all staff, and this program has been very well received. Due to the pending retirement of their outstanding Police Psychologist Dan Dworkin they now have an opening.
EDITORS NOTE:The Law Enforcement Survival Institute was approached by The University of Colorado Colorado Springs School of Public Affairs about promoting a new research project investigating the concept of moral injury within law enforcement. The findings from this project entitled: Advancing Officer Wellness: A Study of On-Duty Experiences and their Impacts among Law Enforcement Professionals, can be used to raise awareness of officer’s experiences and to develop programming that supports officer wellness. The Law Enforcement Survival Institute wholeheartedly supports this very interesting research and we encourage you to investigate further, join the project, and help us spread the word to others.
Here’s some information to get you started and you can connect with the links below:
Purpose Statement: In light of the stresses of police work, recent years have brought heightened attention to the tolls of the job on individual officers. These can include illness, mental and behavioral health challenges, and even suicide. There is thus a strong push for proactive efforts to advance health, wellness, and resilience among officers. This study seeks to support and advance those efforts.
Background: Policing professionals face traumatic and morally injurious events in the line of duty. the effects of trauma and moral injury can include posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance misuse, spiritual and religious struggle, and more. This study is an important step in bolstering resilience among those working in the policing profession. Findings can be used to raise awareness of officer’s experiences and to develop programming that supports officer wellness…
EDITORS NOTE:Earlier in the year we created a Trends Report for some of our clients and now would like to make it available to everyone who reads CopsAlive.com. While some of the statistics might be getting a little dated, the trends are holding strong. Please add your comments in the box at the bottom of the article.
CLICK HERE if you would like to download an executive summary of this report.
There are a number of negative forces at work on the law enforcement profession right now that have never had such a powerful influence. These factors at their face value are menacing but it is the lesser seen damage that is truly hurting our profession, and its people, right now. What’s worst is that these effects will ripple through our industry for years to come.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute has identified five trends in law enforcement and policing that are causing major shifts in the way we mobilize our personnel and provide our services. This report does not focus on the CAUSE of these trends but rather the EFFECTS these trends have on the well-being and performance of law enforcement personnel.
Some have labelled these trends as critical issues and others have called them a crisis. This report is not intended to get you to focus on these five discouraging trends but rather… Continue reading
Choosing and Change by new CopsAlive Contributor
Tammy Featherstone, Sgt. (retired)
Growing up in a strict, conservative, Southern Baptist home came with many challenges. In addition, I was not a conventional girl. I loved being outdoors, playing sports and “rough housing”. I realized early on I didn’t view things the same way my parents did. My father was misogynistic and reminded my sister and I, more frequently than I care to remember, that he was the “head of the house”. I challenged my father quite a bit growing up. It didn’t work out so well for me. I can’t explain the feeling of being a small child and being hit by a grown man.
I received very sad news today that my friend, retired NYPD Detective First Grade, Mordecai Dzikansky has died suddenly of a heart attack. Morty was my friend, my colleague, my hero and a damn good cop.
Morty served in the NYPD for twenty-five years and he was a Hero, an NYPD Detective First Grade, a Husband, a Father, an Author, a Teacher, a Cop’s cop and my Friend.
He is survived by his wife Meryl and their three children Zachary, Jake, Talia
We were supposed to be teaching together at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) conference this week but other priorities had pulled both of us apart and in different directions, so that neither of us were able to attend the conference.
He was together with his family celebrating the sacred Jewish holiday of Purim when he died.
He worked with us at The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and was very active in trying to help other law enforcement professionals avoid, or mitigate, the traumas and hidden dangers of our profession. He suffered from many of these himself.
As a NYPD Manhattan South Homicide Detective on September 11, 2001, when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, Morty’s team of detectives were immediately dispatched to what would eventually be called Ground Zero to begin investigations. Continue reading
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