Police Peer Support: Does it work? The Efficacy of Law Enforcement Peer Support
By: Police Psychologist Jack A. Digliani, PhD, EdD
EDITORS NOTE: This article was submitted by CopsAlive longtime contributor Dr. Jack Digliani and it is of particular importance because I believe he has created one of the first and certainly most thorough evaluations of Proactive Peer Support programs ever conducted. Jack is truly one of the world’s preeminent promoters of effective law enforcement peer support and how to properly train for it. READ this article, visit his website, and use his free materials that are available here on CopsAlive and also on his site. If you haven’t had Jack conduct a training program for your agency yet, you are truly missing the best!
Peer support teams within law enforcement agencies have existed for many years. Although many law enforcement officers and police psychologists have advocated for peer support programs, there has been surprising little research providing evidence for the efficacy of peer support.
To gather information about the use and outcome of agency peer support, the peer support experiences of employees of three northern Colorado law enforcement agencies, Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, and Loveland Police Department, were assessed utilizing the Peer Support Team Utilization and Outcome Survey. The peer support teams of each agency are well established, similarly structured, and function under the oversight of a licensed mental health professional. Each member of the peer support teams was initially trained within the Police Peer Support Team Training program.
The applied methodology for Survey distribution and collection produced a return of 644 surveys. This represented approximately 77.9% of the survey-eligible population. Of the 644 surveys collected, 631 were returned completed (76.3% of the survey-eligible population).
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute is proud to announce the release of John Marx’s new book: Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement.
The book helps law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in order to build Tactical Resilience™.
This book also provides guidance and support for law enforcement family members to use in order to learn how to help their family survive that career in policing.
This book is about “Saving the Lives of the People Who Save Lives”
Police work is the most toxic job on the planet, and if the members of the law enforcement community don’t take measures to protect themselves, this job will eat them up!
If law enforcement officers did a true threat assessment of their careers, they would realize that the real dangers lie not with the bad guys, but within the stresses of the job. High rates of suicide, depression, alcoholism, domestic violence, PTSD, heart attack and cancer are the real cop killers.
I had the honor of recently being interviewed by LESI Faculty member Lisa Wimberger for a new video series she produced called: Critical Conversations With Law Enforcement. In the video series Lisa talked with eight past and present law enforcement officers about the stresses in law enforcement particularly as it is being heightened by public unrest in many U.S. cities.
Lisa did an excellent job with the interviews and you can watch them for free until May 31, 2015 at this… Continue reading
Please give us your input on this law enforcement suicide prevention video
We want to know what you think!
The Carson J Spencer Foundation is conducting an exploratory survey to get a better sense of law enforcement’s thoughts and opinions about the “Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement” video and to give us some ideas about what might be useful in a facilitation guide.
Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to this profession of law enforcement.
There has been a lot of turmoil in the media about law enforcement lately, and much of it is based on lack of information, misinformation and ignorance. This is the perfect time for those in law enforcement to rededicate ourselves to our profession.
It’s easy for people to misunderstand issues about the police and law enforcement when they are uninformed and under educated. It’s our job to inform them.
The vast majority of the citizens in our communities support law enforcement and understand the complexities we face, but they are the quiet majority.
We must work with our community groups to properly educate them about law enforcement training and operations. Then when we need their support for more personnel, more equipment or more… Continue reading
In honor of U.S. National PTSD Awareness Day please visit the website of the National Center for PTSD to learn more about this disorder. PTSD Awareness Day is part of U.S. National PTSD Awareness Month which was created to bring awareness to this psychological disorder.
Their concept is simple: Raise PTSD Awareness
Learn. Connect. Share. Learn: PTSD treatment can help Connect: Reach out to someone Share: Spread the word
Our Law Enforcement Survival Institute, and CopsAlive.com recommendation is to consider a four-part approach to encouraging the emotional well-being or the people in your law enforcement agency:
1. Learn all you can about PTSD using some of our recommended links below and the hold a discussion at your department using our 10-Minute Roll Call Discussion Guide on the Police PTSD Paradox CLICK HERE to download the discussion guide.
2. Initiate Police Psychologist Jack Digliani’s “Make It Safe” Initiative that promotes making it safe for officers to ask for psychological support CLICK HERE to learn more about the initiative on Jack Digliani’s website
CLICK HERE to download Jack Digliani’s Implementation Guide for the “Make It Safe” Initiative
CLICK HERE to download a poster/info sheet about the “Make It Safe” Initiative.
3. Publicize the Safe Call Now crisis hotline for first responders
Add the number into your contact list 1-206-459-3020 and publicize it around your agency. CLICK HERE to visit their website and learn more about their great work
4. Start or recommit to a Proactive Peer Support program within your department. Our belief at CopsAlive.com is that Peer Support should be formalized and encouraged throughout the agency or department and should be a proactive initiative where Peer Support Team members regularly check-in with their peers rather than waiting from someone to approach them. CLICK HERE to download Psychologist Jack Digliani’s Peer Support
CLICK HERE to download Peer Support Guidelines as published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2011
Law Enforcement Survival Institute Executive Director and CopsAlive.com Editor John Marx has been invited to speak next week in Kuala Lumpur to law enforcement officials and government enforcement agencies about “Managing Stress in Times of Crisis”.
John will be reviewing our three main training programs: Armor Your Self™, Armor Your Agency™, and True Blue Valor™.
Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE
The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE
Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE
The symposium, promoted by MeLearn Global, entitled Law Enforcement Psychology Masterclass is being held June 3rd & 4th 2014 at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel just outside Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
This symposium has just opened up extra spots for a few more attendees. This symposium is for law enforcement officials only. If you would like to learn more information… Continue reading
At the conference, being held at the Chicago Westin Yorktown Center, we will host four breakout sessions and one group panel discussion to draw ideas and create a basic curriculum for future distribution.
In addition to the input from hundreds of ILEETA members we also need your input. We want your ideas, tips, best practices, research and any input that you believe would be helpful or should be included within a basic training program on wellness for law enforcement professionals.