Things You Should Know About National Police Week 2013

National Police Week 2013 will be Sunday, May 12th through Saturday, May 18th.
It was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962 after President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, as National Police Week. It is an event that every law enforcement officer should attend at least once in their lifetime.

National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community. Principal organizers of National Police… Continue reading

Situational Awareness is Critical in Law Enforcement


Well it happened to me again. I was starting my shift on the road with a stop for the bathroom and I made an embarrassing discovery. I put my long johns on backwards.

Oh… stop laughing as I am sure many of you as LEOs have encountered situations such as mine. It is these situations which reminds us of our vulnerability to distractions on and off duty.

Now I am not going make excuses or place the blame on my age or memory. I can admit in my rush to get dressed and inattention to details which placed me into this dilemma.
I’d like to take a moment to bring up the topic of SITUATIONAL AWARENESS especially in law enforcement.

Situational awareness is critical to officer survival in law enforcement.

One of the ways I can describe Situational Awareness is this: You need to be emotionally, cognitively and physically present when you are working. Aware of what is happening around you at this moment. Preparing to meet the challenges presented to us… Continue reading

Law Enforcement Learning the Millennial Way

Editors Note: welcomes a new contributor: Sgt. Brian Cain.

Knowledge. We all strive to attain it. We read books, police trade journals, law enforcement industry-specific publications, online articles, and attend conferences. We will spend thousands of dollars in our lifetime pursuing knowledge. Some people will even go on to continue their education by getting a degree. All of those are great ways to gain knowledge. While those traditional means of gaining knowledge have worked for decades, I can’t help but wonder if they are still the best ways.

I love learning. I love studying leadership. I love technology. Those three things have combined to revolutionize the way that I consume leadership material. I get books and download digital copies onto my Kindle. I subscribe to websites via RSS to get new posts from leaders in the public and private sectors. I find leadership centered podcasts on iTunes and download them to my iPod. I download audiobooks and put those on my iPod. I truly learn the millennial way.

If some of those terms, like RSS and podcast, sound a little strange and unfamiliar, don’t worry. I am not going to try to shove a bunch of technology lingo and explanations down your throat. I just simply want to… Continue reading

Grin and Bear it

A few months ago, I received a telephone call from a family friend during date night with my wife. The call was from a family friend so I answered the phone. Our friend was in the observatory which is on top of the Prudential Tower in Boston. She called asking for some advice. The power was off and it was dark.
• Friend: The lights and the power are off and no one is telling us what to do?… Continue reading

Coping With On-The-Job Stress and Injuries

How many current and former law enforcement officers are out there suffering with mental and physical injuries; and how do we help them? Listen to our interview with a former officer who talks about his battles with PTSD and the injuries that forced his retirement.

Recently I had a chance to have a very candid discussion with “M” a retired officer from a mid-sized police department in the eastern United States.. “M” asked that I not use his name to protect his privacy, but he had some interesting things to say about his struggle with PTSD and the injuries that forced him to leave the job he loved.

You can listen to our… Continue reading

Educating My Flock of Sheep

Do you know the story about sheep, wolves and sheepdogs?

The Sunday morning after the Colorado theater shooting, I had the rare opportunity of enjoying a day off which fell on a Sunday. A ritual of mine is to attend church with my family. I was eager to attend this day as a woman priest who is a friend of mine was preaching for our vacationing clergy.

Chris was telling the story of the sheep, shepherds and sheepdogs. She was reminding us of the role of a sheepdog to guide the herd of sheep and how we all have a responsibility to look out for each other. There was no mention of the current events in her sermon.

At the time of peace, Chris came over to me to hug me. She whispered in my ear that it is nice to hug you without the guns in your hands. The previous Wednesday, I ran into Chris behind my police station as I was assisting our mechanic remove a shotgun and a patrol rifle from a disabled cruiser to be secured inside the station. It’s all about timing in life and unfortunately Chris and I did not get a change for a friendly hug that day. One could say my hands were full at that moment.

After the service, I had coffee with several friends including Chris. Everyone wants to know in a kind but awkward way what’s going on in our community. They want to hear that life is Utopia and sometimes I have to adjust my comments to minimize the shock and awe factor. Calling it “sugar coating” the truth or allowing my friends to enjoy their peaceful existence in their own world, I have to edit the reality of police work to my audience. Some people want the raw and powerful truth that is the reality of police work, and others want to feel safe believing in their minds that the world is safe.

Chris and I had a moment to share on her sermon and I brought to her attention the story by Lt. Col. David Grossman on the role of… Continue reading

Burnout in Law Enforcement

Many law enforcement officers come to a point in their careers where they have that feeling that the flame has gone out. The spark of enthusiasm has disappeared. The job is not fun anymore. These are some of the indicators of Police Burnout.

Early in my career there was a funny saying B.O.S.S., which made light fun of Officer Burnout with a tongue in cheek cartoon of an officer doing the Superman pose with the B as a symbol on his chest. If I remember correctly, there was a club you could send away a gag application for membership too.

Unfortunately many LEO’s of the past suffered from the symptoms and the reality of burnout. It affected their performance on and off the job. Burnout was not a formally recognized symptom or hazard of public safety career.  Although we laughed about it, it destroyed many careers and people.

Burnout or compassion fatigue has… Continue reading

A Police Officers Guide and Handbook to Tactical Casualty Care

Rafael Navarro a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy releases a new book on Tactical Casualty Care entitled: “A Police Officers Guide and Handbook to Tactical Casualty Care (Under Fire) First Aid and Self First Aid for Law Enforcement”.

After returning from his overseas tour, Rafael was given an assignment within the training unit at his agency. It didn’t take long before he realized that there were some shortfalls to the First Aid and Self First Aid program they were offering.

The most outstanding concern was the lack of training concerning the use and deployment of a tourniquet.  After taking a good look at their existing program, he proposed a lesson plan, which included the purpose and use of the tourniquet. This was approved after a short review and the trend began. Slowly, he was able to affect the entire agency, by exposing them to tourniquet training.

This is when he realized the enormous communication gap between our military and law enforcement agencies. Rafael began a personal campaign to bring attention to the fact that our soldiers (young as they may be) are considered trainable in combat lifesaving skills by our government, whereas most of the law enforcement agencies in our country consider this type of training “out of the realm or scope” and perhaps too difficult.

The fact of the matter is, that the skills needed to become proficient in combat lifesaving skills can be taught to police… Continue reading

The Police PTSD Paradox

The Problems with Police PTSD – A Call for Comments

Editors Note: This is a very important topic to law enforcement officers all  around the world.  Please leave your comments in the box below so we can start a dialogue on this very important issue.

We have a Police PTSD Crisis: “Take care of our own” v.s. “Throwaway Cops”

We have a problem in our profession.  It has to do with excessive stress caused by the job of law enforcement and, in it’s extreme form, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.  We all know that the stress from this job can be toxic and at times debilitating.  What we don’t seem to believe is that it can happen to us, or someone we work with, because when it does, we don’t know what to do about it.   We seem to have created a paradox, which is a contradiction or a situation that seems to defy logic or intuition.

The Police PTSD Paradox is created by… Continue reading

Law Enforcement Online Forums

Have you ever wanted to connect with other law enforcement professionals online?

Here is an opportunity for you.  We have been informed of a new list of 40 online forums that are appropriate for law enforcement professionals.  The list includes forums especially for law enforcement officers, forums for military personnel, some geared toward lawyers and forums written for people looking for law enforcement jobs.

The list was prepared by a website dedicated to providing students with the information and tools needed in order to pursue their Criminal Justice Degree.  Criminal Justice Degree is the only website dedicated to listing and linking to every accredited criminal justice program available in the US.

The link to the list… Continue reading