John Marx was a Police Officer for twenty-three years and served as a Hostage Negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance initiative through the police department's Community Policing project. Today John combines his skills to consult with businesses about improving both their security and their customer service programs. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was devastated and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into CopsAlive.com. Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! CopsAlive.com gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.

When Enough is Enough?

I can think of so my topics to write about using this title but in honor of George Carlin I’m going to write about “stuff”. Check out George’s thoughts on “Stuff”.

These thoughts struck me as we are thinking about moving into a new home and have way too much stuff, which is what I worked hard for as a cop for over twenty years. Now I’m wondering if I really ever needed all this stuff (and what I could have done with the money had I not bought all of this “stuff”). Continue reading

When’s Your Independence Day?

Yesterday the United States celebrated it’s Independence Day.  Many countries celebrate such a day to denote their coming of age and independence from the input and control of another’s influence.  Not many people celebrate such a day for their life but maybe we should.

What in your life do you NEED to become independent from?  A mortgage?  A bad relationship?  A job?  An unhealthy lifestyle?  What would financial independence look like for you?  What would freedom look like to you?  CopsAlive is built upon the premise that we should have a plan to survive and thrive in life and in our job.  What’s your plan? Continue reading

Are You Planning for the UnExpected?

Another good cop fell in the line of duty last week. Nicholas Heine was 30 year old but he wasn’t felled by an assailant’s bullet nor was he stabbed or beaten.

Quoting from Nick Bonham of THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN June 22, 2008 12:38 am “Nicholas “Nick” Heine, a seven-year veteran of the Pueblo Police Department and a decorated and well-liked officer, collapsed about 2 a.m. while running between bar disturbances in the Historic Union Avenue District.

Heine died shortly later at Parkview Medical Center. He was 30.

Heine’s mother and co-worker, Detective Pat Heine, a 19-year veteran of the police department, said her son died of a heart problem that no one knew he had. Continue reading

Success Story: Ted Newman

I met retired police officer Ted Newman earlier this year on a Carnival Cruise to the  beautiful islands in the Caribbean.  Coinsidentally we were both also in a group that came onto that cruise from around the world to learn more about operating a business on the internet.

It was an amazing trip.  Not only did we spend eight days and seven nights on a beautiful ship but we also visited Puerto Rico, St. Thomas USVI, Antigua, Tortola and the Nassau in the Bahamas.  What’s more we were part of a group of over 125 internet marketers from 7 countries.  While the ship was at sea we spent time together in various facilitated learning sessions exchanging ideas and learning from one another.  Ted and I became fast friends and have stayed in touch. Continue reading

How’s Your Financial Health?

Everyone is talking these days about higher gasoline prices, higher food costs and generally higher costs for everything we enjoy.  At the same time the financial markets of the world are struggling, record numbers of people are losing their homes and the misuse of credit has become a global problem.

How’s your financial health?  Are you unsettled by all around you?  Even though you are a police officer are you in the middle of some of these problems?  As a cop how well to you manage the financial resources you have? Continue reading

Internet Marketing Cruise for Cops

Have you ever wanted to start your own business on the internet.  Maybe you’re tired of working off-duty security gigs and want to work from home any time you want.  Consider joining me on an 8 day Caribbean Cruise to learn about doing business on the internet and talk to your accountant about whether it is an acceptable business tax deduction for you. Continue reading

As a Police Officer What’s Your Memorial?

Yesterday was Memorial Day here in the United States.  A holiday that was created to honor our valiant veterans who gave their lives in military service to our country.  According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs the Memorial Day Holiday started to honor the veterans of the American Civil War.

“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.” Continue reading

The Mathematics of Stress in Law Enforcement

Common wisdom always dictates that you must subtract things to make your life better.  If you are on a diet you must reduce calories, if you are on a budget you must reduce your debt, and if you are a cop you must learn to reduce the effects of negative stresses.

However, human nature really wants to add to our lives when we are stressed.  We drink more, smoke more or eat more.  Maybe as police officers we should take advantage of our human nature and find ways to add positive things instead of negative things that will only cause more stress and compound the problem. Continue reading

Plan Your Life List

I first read about John Goddard when I read the original edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul several years ago.  At age 15 John set 127 goals he wanted to accomplish during his lifetime.  He wanted to accomplish great things and he wanted do lots of amazing stuff during his lifetime.  Now many years later he has done most of them and shares his experiences with others.  His list included things like exploring all the major rivers of the world and climbing the Matterhorn.  He rode elephants and camels, flew in jet fighters and lit a match with a .22 rifle.  He wanted to read the complete works of Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Dickens, Thoreau to name a few and he was able to publish an article of his own in National Geographic.  He retraced the route of Marco Polo through all of the Middle East, Asia and China, and dove in a submarine.  Business World News called him the Real Indiana Jones CLICK HERE to read more.  I loved the story so much that I used to read it to my scout troop when I was a Scoutmaster and I would challenge all of them to write their own life list.  Do you have a Life List?  is it in writing? Continue reading

Cops and Relationships

Cops work and live in all kinds of relationships. We may have a car partner or a detective partner that we interact with or we might have a team that we work with. We certainly interact with many peers and supervisors all shift long for four or five days a week.  We work with the community, with the schools, with business leaders, religious leaders, social service and mental health providers and lots and lots of people.

Additionally we may also be involved in a romantic relationship or marriage in our private life that may or may not overlap with work.  For all of this human interaction you would think that we would be great at building and maintaining strong and lasting relationships, but I think most of us would agree that’s not always the case. Continue reading