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.
As cops sometimes we just need to find the humor in things when everything around us is filled with crime and tragedy. Maybe we should check out some of the offerings on YouTube. Here a some of my favorites:
This one was created by Tim and Kris O’Shea of The O’Shea Report. Visit them at http://www.theosheareport.com
Are you moonlighting or working a second job? I don’t know many cops who don’t. It seems like we are always searching for something more. Maybe we want to earn a little extra cash or socialize with the people or maybe we need that extra cash. How much of your earnings from any side jobs you work are you actually investing or even saving?
Earning extra cash is nothing new in this world and with the economy in the U.S. the way it is, it seems like those extra earnings are the only way that many people are even getting by with their bills. It seems that when your primary job is peace officer or law enforcement of any kind that it shouldn’t have to be that way but it is. Continue reading
It was cloudy, windy and a little chilly as officers and families from around the state of Colorado came together today at the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial to Officers Killed in the Line of Duty. As the crowd listened to Colorado Governor William Ritter and U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Troy Eid praise the actions of this year’s additions to the memorial wall, a lone piper played amazing grace and 219 white doves were released into the sky in tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the people of Colorado since it became a state of the union.
The icy wind was a reminder of the harsh reality of the job of peace officer but the children, spouses and family members of those who gave their lives in service was an even more powerful testament to the legacy of sorrow that never leaves a when a peace officer it taken from this earth. Continue reading
That sure describes our policing profession doesn’t it? How many of you really got into law enforcement just for the fun of it? I know, I know, you told the interview panel that all you really wanted to do was to “help people”, and when you became a cop, you did but admit it, you were looking for fun.
The big question might be “Is it still fun?” Did all the fun and excitement that got you into police work linger or has it passed? Are the thrills still there or are you having to create then now? Most importantly, what do you do for fun and relaxation off the job?
With stress probably being the culprit behind most police officer deaths, certainly after retirement, what are you doing to minimize that stress now and how are you relaxing? Also of importance is how healthy is your means of having fun? Continue reading
As a working cop have you thought about when you are going to retire? Maybe you have a fixed police retirement date that’s not within your control or maybe you can plan your own date but haven’t even started to plan for it yet. Maybe you are like many other police officers in that you feel that you will never be able to retire and that they will find you withering away in your patrol car at age 95.
I’d like to ask you to consider another factor and that is how long can you stay successful in the job? How long can you tolerate the stress and demands of the job and still perform it at a level that you know is acceptable? I don’t think the financial planning aspect and the personal health planning aspect of this decision need to be or even should be separate. Continue reading
Now this is a touchy subject for cops to discuss honestly. I know, some of you out there have been happily married for over 25 years but you have to admit that as a group we don’t manage relationships nor marriage very well.
Maybe we would fare better if we had some rules to follow. I asked relationship expert Janice Hoffman who has written a very helpful book entitled “Relationship Rules” for some suggestions and she gave me some rules that just might help out. Continue reading
Have you ever stopped to ask what’s really killing us? I’m not so sure the answers are as important now as the right questions. But a BIG questions are in doing a little threat assessment on our careers.
What’s the biggest threat to a police officer’s life? Is it being murdered by some felon? Is it a terrorists bomb? I think the biggest threat is the one most of are not facing head on – Stress and all of it’s side effects. Continue reading
Welcome to CopsAlive.com. CopsAlive works in cooperation with The Law Enforcement Survival Institute to bring useful tools, ideas and strategies to police professionals who want to plan happy, healthy and successful lives and careers.
What will you do with your life? Will you become one of the best cops in the world or will the job take it’s toll on you? CopsAlive will ask questions of you and of the experts on your behalf. We will consider the true threats to your life and ask you to conduct threat assessments for your life, health and career. Continue reading
CopsAlive works in cooperation with The Law Enforcement Survival Institute to bring useful tools, ideas and strategies to police professionals who want to plan happy, healthy and successful lives and careers.
Law enforcement is the most noble profession in the world. Police officers deserve the very best the world has to offer as thanks for their valuable service to the world. Lots of money, time and resources are spent to help cops protect themselves on the job. Most of it is focused upon “officer survival” strategies that protect officers, deputies, constables, and correctional officers from armed assaults. A true threat assessment of a career in law enforcement reveals that there are many other threats and some of them are more serious. This site is dedicated to finding anything that will help cops successfully navigate their careers and survive in mind, body and spirit to enjoy the rest of their lives in peace no matter when the end of their career arrives.
I had a friend and fellow retired officer commit suicide last year. I didn’t realize how bad the police suicide stats were until I started doing some research. cops have very high suicide rates and lots of other health challenges. I think we would all acknowledge that we as a group have a high rate of alcoholism and divorce and maybe even financial problems. CopsAlive.com is here to work with you and to help you plan to have happy, healthy and successful lives and careers.
Who’s the best cop in the world? If I asked you about goal keepers, first basemen, quarterbacks or long distance runners you might have a faster and more opinionated answer. I’m not sure anyone can answer the question of who’s the best cop. First your mind raced to the issue that we are all on one team and it isn’t appropriate for one person to stand out. Or, your mind challenged the fact that it would be like comparing apples to oranges. What would we compare? Would we count the number of arrests or measure physical fitness? Would we analyze time spent on calls, number of traffic tickets or conviction rates? Part of the problem is that we over analyze instead of just asking the questions about how to be better cops, and to do that some great role models would be helpful. Continue reading
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Our motto is "Saving the lives of the people who save lives!"
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