Today is National PTSD Awareness Day


Today is National PTSD Awareness Day in the United States and should be a call to action for law enforcement to begin discussions about PTSD within our organizations, and begin the processes needed to manage and treat this disorder which plagues so many within our ranks.

Many law enforcement officers, many members of the armed forces, women and children who have been victimized and many many other people around the country and the world suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and we… Continue reading

Call for Model Law Enforcement Policies

There were two police officer suicides within the last week that I am aware of, and maybe more.  Despite our best efforts at dealing with the toxic effects of a career in law enforcement, we still see the signs and symptoms everywhere.  In our training programs on these issues we talk about “fire spotters” in a nod to the fire service we think of peers and family members as the first line of defense in the battle to overcome some of the “hidden dangers” of law enforcement like suicide, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse and other challenges to our health.  Yet, we still find that many agencies don’t have these front lines of defense and aren’t doing all that they can to help care for the precious human resources that we use to staff our law enforcement agencies and provide support their families as well.

In an effort to improve that process, and not force everyone to reinvent the wheel, we are calling on all law enforcement agencies and organizations from around the globe to put forth their best polices as samples that others might adapt and implement so that all agencies might safeguard our officers and their families.

Specifically we are looking for policies on “Law Enforcement Peer Support Programs”, “Law Enforcement Family Support Programs”, “Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Programs” and any policies that deal with the intervention and recovery process when dealing with an officer… Continue reading

Police Beatings: Balancing Anarchy and Tyranny

A Seattle police officer punched a woman in the face after detaining a woman for jay walking.  The officer tried to detain the woman but she refused to cooperate by pulling away.  As she resisted, the officer grabbed her and struggled as she pulled away.  This continued as an angry crowd began to circle the officer.

Soon a second woman entered the scene and pushed the officer to help her resisting friend.  The officer immediately reacted by punching the second woman in the face, removing her from the picture while he continued struggling with the first woman.  This obviously upset the crowd and also excited a negative reaction toward the officer from the normally pro police — Bill O’Reilly.

Surprisingly, this type of incident is similar to those that provoke most citizen complaints and law suits against law enforcement.  For the most part, it isn’t the shootings or other more seemingly serious incidents that draw… Continue reading

Excellent Webcast on “Survivor’s Guilt” from C.O.P.S.

Earlier today I sat in on an excellent webcast put on by the National Concerns of Police Survivors organization on “Survivor Guilt and It’s Effect on Coworkers”.  The presenters: Kirk Clark and Linda Moon Gregory did an excellent job with a very difficult subject.  I encourage you to page down in this article to find a link to the replay of their broadcast.

Kirk Clark retired from the Jacksonville (Fla.) Police Department after an undercover drug operation left his partner dead and him with multiple gunshot wounds. Clark returned from the brink with the help of COPS, for which he now serves as president for the northeast Florida chapter. He is the recipient of the Purple Heart from… Continue reading

ASU Now Offers Criminal Justice Courses Online

I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Scott Decker and Professor Dan Zorich both of Arizona State University yesterday on the telephone. We talked about ASU’s creation of an online version of their program offerings from their School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Scott H. Decker is a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. Dr. Decker has been teaching in the field for over 30 years and was named a Fellow for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in 2007. He also serves on the Arizona P.O.S.T. Board which establishes Peace Officer Standards for Training. He has published several books on topics involving Juvenile Justice and Street Gangs.

Dan Zorich is Manager, Online Education for ASU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and has also worked for over 35 years in Corrections, Probation and Parole programs in both Arizona and Illinois.

He has been a Case Manager of a Gang Intervention Program, a Supervisor in the Women’s Treatment Network, and the Intensive Probation Supervision programs in Arizona. He also worked his way up through the Illinois Department of Corrections from a juvenile then adult caseworker to a supervisors position in the Central Illinois Field Services (Parole) Division, finally becoming Clinical Director of the Pontiac Correctional Center in Pontiac, Illinois. Dan is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

The Arizona State University Bachelor of Science in Criminology… Continue reading

Police Officers Arrested – What’s the Problem?

There seems to have been a rash of police officers arrested lately and I wonder what we as a profession are going to do about it.

We talk about the effects of stress on the job a lot here at CopsAlive.com and we talk about police officer suicide, alcohol abuse, divorce, domestic violence but this is one of the side effects that we don’t talk about too often.  Is this representative of a few “bad apples” or is it a bigger issue of officers not being able to handle the stresses of the job.  Does that mean we picked the wrong people for the job or did the job get to these men who were basically good people?

March 23, 2010
Colorado state trooper arrested on DUI charges
In this case an on-duty trooper was stopped in his patrol car by another agency and arrested for investigation of DUI.
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_14735791?source=rss

April 6, 2010
Westminster police officer and corrections officer held in kidnap, rape of woman
In this case two law enforcement officers are charged with the kidnapping and violent rape of a woman who they saw working in a bar.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/06/local/la-me-officers-arrested6-2010apr06
Continue reading

Things That Might Get You Fired as a Police Officer

I recently had a very interesting interview with Gordon Graham. Gordon is a 33 year veteran of California Law Enforcement. His education as a Risk Manager and experience as a practicing Attorney, coupled with his extensive background in law enforcement, have allowed him to rapidly became recognized as a leading professional speaker in both private and public sector organizations with multiple areas of expertise.

In 1973 Gordon was selected as a candidate for a major west coast law enforcement agency. Thereafter, he proudly served as a motorcycle officer for most of his first ten years in the Los Angeles area. In addition to his patrol work, he helped design the first DUI task force, assisted in the development of the DRE (drug recognition program), was an instructor in the initial “Mod I and II” Haz Mat program, and wrote his first of many technical papers: “PCP–An Officer’s Survival Guide.”

Simultaneously he was furthering his formal education during his off hours. Spending two years at Long Beach State College under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Kaywood led to his receiving a Lifetime Teaching Credential.

Following this degree, he attended University of Southern California in their Institute of Safety and Systems Management.

After completing his Masters, his off duty time was then spent at Western State University School of Law, where he was graduated in 1982 with his Juris Doctorate. He passed the California Bar Exam the same year and opened his law offices in Hollywood, where he focused his efforts on family law, immigration and personal injury work.

In his law enforcement life, Gordon was promoted to Sergeant in 1982 and supervised his former unit–the motorcycle cops of his agency assigned to Los Angeles. He and his fellow Sergeants on “B” shift stressed the values… Continue reading

Crisis Intervention for Police Officers

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Sean Riley the Founder and President of Safe Call Now, a crisis intervention program for law enforcement personnel located in the Seattle area of Washington State here in the U.S..

Safe Call Now works with over 400 volunteers to help law enforcement officers, fire fighters and other emergency service workers navigate through any crisis that might challenge their lives and careers.

The program has a very notable board of directors and has the backing of many state, local and federal organizations.

According to Washington State Lt. Governor Brad Owen
“the program was set up to help officers and their families through difficult circumstances. This confidential service… Continue reading

Visual Listening with author Rik D. Middleton

We recently had a chance to review the book “Don’t Look at Me in That Tone of Voice” and found it fascinating. We interviewed Author Rik D. Middleton who wrote the book at the urging of a friend who is with the Glendale California S.W.A.T. team and the state secretary for California Association of Hostage Negotiators. She had heard him speak on communications and asked if he could do the presentation for her team. Now using the book as part of his program Rik travels the country training law enforcement teams on “The Art of Visual Listening”. Rik is President of Sage Cadre Publishing and the Chief Operating Officer of ExecutivExpression Inc.

ExecutivExpression offers services that include accent reduction, as well as focusing on important subtle cultural and functional aspects of language and communication.

You can learn more about his training programs at:
www.visual-listening.com

You can listen to our complete interview with Rik by clicking the Replay botton below

Getting Broken in on the Job at C.O.P.S.

Guest Posting By: Brooke McKay, Marketing Coordinator, Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc.

I arrived at C.O.P.S. Spouses’ Retreat the weekend of September 18-21,
2009, at the YMCA Trout Lodge in Potosi, Missouri, after only one month
as the Marketing Coordinator for Concerns of Police Survivors.  I knew
the organization dealt with death, dying, and grief; yet I was not
prepared for what I saw. I was instantly introduced to a young widow who
was there for the first time.  She was 25 years old, just one year older
than me. While I smiled as I meet all the spouses, I could not get the
young widow out of my head.

Part of my job that weekend was to interview… Continue reading