Fitness for Cops: Find Out If You Too Are At Risk

Editors Note: I met Jon Benson on the CopsAlive Cruise 2009 and was very impressed with him as a fitness trainer and as an entrepreneur. I’ve had a chance to review Jon’s materials and think he is doing some great stuff that can help police officers and other law enforcement professionals. Fitness is critical to our staying alive in police work but it is also critical to our living happy, healthy and successful lives. Jon Benson has given me permission to reprint some of the articles from his fitness newsletter on CopsAlive.com and we will be featuring them periodically to help you improve your fitness! PS if you want to start a wellness program for your law enforcement agency read our blog posting on Master Wellness Training with Frank Wooldridge another cop helping cops.

Want to know what your real odds are of having a heart attack?

How about a stroke? Diabetes?

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The Traumas of Law Enforcement – There is Hope!

As editor of CopsAlive.com I just finished attending the 3-day “Traumas of Law Enforcement” seminar put on by the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) organization, and despite the depressing nature of what is happening to our profession I left with a sense of hope that there are so many dedicated people out there making things better for those who come after them.  If you are interested in this seminar after reading this blog there are still two more sessions of this valuable program still to be presented this month but you must act fast by visiting the C.O.P.S. website to learn about locations and dates.  There is no registration fee for these programs but registration is MANDATORY!  In our session we had over 110 attendees from around the United States with a variety of sworn and non-sworn personnel including supervisors, chaplains dispatchers and peer support team members. Continue reading

As Cops We Must Prevent Police Officer Suicides

Police Officer Suicides are becoming an epidemic.  Over the last several years suicides by police officers have out numbered the number of officers killed in the line of duty by 3 to 1.  It is estimated that between 400 to 500 officers take their own lives each year.  This is a major problem and as law enforcement professionals we must resolve this problem ourselves.  The first step is awareness and then we must take action.  I started this blog at www.copsalive.com when a friend and former Sheriff’s Patrol Sergeant committed suicide.  No one saw it coming and in my twenty three years as a police officer… Continue reading

Master Wellness Training

While working on the CopsAlive blog post “Successful Cop – Jeffery Hart“, I came across another interesting and successful police officer who is doing cool things to help you and your law enforcement agency create a successful Wellness Program.  I love it when a police officer is successful in his or her career and then does something else to improve the world or their own lives and it’s an added bonus when they do something that helps other cops.  That’s what this thirty year detective does with his wellness traiining. Continue reading

Successful Cop – Jeffery Hart

Lt. Col. Jeffery Hart is the Assistant Chief of Police in Morganfield Kentucky, he is a successful cop and he is a lucky man.  I came across Jeff’s story when I was researching the heart defect that took the life of Colorado Police Officer Nick Heine.  See our blog on “Are You Planning for the Un-Expected?”  Officer Heine was a healthy 30 year old police officer who collapsed when he was running from one disturbance call to another.  He died later at the hospital from an undiscovered heart defect.  Jeff was 43 years old when he was responding to a robbery alarm and had a major heart problem that nearly took his life.  Jeff was lucky and had a chance to change his life and health, Nick was not.  How’s your health?  What do you do on a daily basis to maintain your wellness? 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

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

Stress: Cause or Symptom

When you really examine the side-effects of a law enforcement career on the men and women who take the oath and don the badge it’s kind of scary.

First examine the rate 100 to 200 police officers who are killed in the line of duty in the U.S. alone each year.  Then if you dig deeper, the statistics show that things like suicide, cancer and other side effects of the police career that kill thousands more cops each year. Continue reading

What’s Really Killing Cops?

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