What Can We Do To Better Help One Another?

I read two very interesting articles today and I want to hear your opinion.

The first was something that someone sent me on Social Media entitled Diary of a Suicidal Cop

The second as an article posted by the National Center for PTSD entitled Help Someone You Love on PTSD Awareness Day. (Today is National PTSD Awareness Day – see below for links and resources).

I’d like you to read both and then share your comments here about how we can better serve our brothers and sisters behind the badge.

We should not have to Suffer In Silence!

When I read the Diary of a Suicidal Cop, I am saddened, I am moved and I can readily identify with lots of the feelings, but that still doesn’t mean we can’t help those who need it most… Continue reading

Who can you talk to when your officer has just had to kill someone in the line of duty?

EDITORS NOTE:
Lori and Dave Barron have worked for years to promote family support within the Evansville Indiana Police Department (EPD) and they have always offered their assistance to other agencies and concerned family members as well. Don’t forget the effect a critical incident can have on law enforcement families and work to build a strong family support network before you need one! Here is Lori’s story:

I am the proud wife of Sergeant Dave Barron and admire my spouse and all other Law Enforcement Officers and their families. Dave has been on the Evansville Indiana Police Department (EPD) for 27 years and will be retiring March 2018 and it’s a little bitter sweet for me I must say. I want you all to know this life is not always easy but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Support each other, you are stronger and more resilient than you even realize.

July 4, 2003 started out like any other night as my husband went to work on third shift motor patrol. Around 2 am I was awakened by a call from Dave that he had just shot someone but he was ok. I had a million questions for him and he had… Continue reading

Law Enforcement Is A Family Commitment

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 12.30.27 PMEDITORS NOTE: Law enforcement cannot function effectively without the support of the family members who stand behind our professionals, and our police families might be the best “early warning system” for when our officers are suffering in silence. This article was provided by guest contributor Dea Bridge who has been married to a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) for over 25 years, worked in Corrections, served as a volunteer Reserve Police Officer.

Law Enforcement is truly a family affair!

Society is routinely exposed to the mass media’s version of law enforcement via movies, cop shows, or news reports.  These Hollywood depictions are the only frames of reference the general public has for how individuals in this line of work should behave or how they think.  It’s no wonder many civilians (non-LEOs) have a skewed perception of the challenges faced by LEOs and their families.  While some have a more tailored glimpse of “cop life” based on personal relationships or past experiences, the majority has no realistic basis for their interpretations.  For simplicity sake in this article, Law Enforcement Officers will be collectively referred to as LEOs and also include Corrections Officers.  It should be noted that agency support staff, Dispatchers in particular, and other types of emergency service workers (Firefighters, EMTs, and Paramedics) face many of the same challenges as LEOs.  This grouping is not meant to minimize the trials faced by any one category, but rather to highlight the commonalities among people who strive to make our communities a better place to live.

Resources aimed at helping LEOs cope with the unique rigors of their professions are more abundant now than at any other time in history.  To a lesser degree, but increasing, is information specifically designed to aid family member’s with their own set of challenges.  Organizational attitudes of… Continue reading

Interview with Carolyn Whiting the Co-author of “The Crazy Lives of Police Wives”

CrazyLivesOfPoliceWivesCoverIn May we published an article written by Carolyn Whiting the co-author of “The Crazy Lives of Police Wives” and I asked her if she would sit down and speak with CopsAlive.com about the book and her experiences as a former police officer and police wife.

Carolyn Whiting was a police officer for six years and she met Bob, her husband of twenty five years, while working in the same Police department. Carolyn retired due to a back injury and has been a housewife for the past twenty two years while her husband continues to work at the same department where they met. He has over thirty six years in law enforcement. Carolyn has a BA in Geography and was halfway through her MBA when she left graduate school to pursue her life-long dream of being a Police Officer, a decision she has not regretted.

The book is available at Amazon.com in both a paperback and Kindle version as well as at Barnes & Noble in paperback and for the nook.

Carolyn told me that the idea for the book came about after a discussion she had 3 or 4 years ago with… Continue reading

Build Your Relationship with a Road Trip

There’s nothing like a good road trip for chatting while traveling to build and strengthen your personal relationships.

As we approach the July 4th holiday and it’s weekend I’m reminded of my experiences over Memorial Day weekend, which was the start of the summer time vacation season here in New England. My bride and I went on a road trip to the Hudson Valley in New York State that weekend. I know…I know you’re thinking: Sarge, how did you… Continue reading

REMEMBERING EVERYONE IN OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT FAMILY

Peace Officer Memorial Day celebrated on May 15 was first designated in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed legislation which requires the America flag to be lower to half-mast on May 15. The tradition of honoring our Law Enforcement who have died in the line of duty has grown over the past 50 years.

This year, thousands of LEO’s, supporters including many of the surviving families will descend on Washington, D.C. to honor the 19,000 LEO’s who died in the line of duty and support their loved ones.

In the past 13 months, I’ve visited this sacred place which is located in Judiciary Square twice. It is an emotional visit observing the names and the remembrance gifts decorating many of the fallen officers.

I want you to consider and join me for a few moments to also remember many more LEO’s whose names are not on this blessed wall. Continue reading

Social Media Tips for Cops

Social Media Tips for Cops is an interview with our CopsAlive.com contributor Chuck Rylant about The 7 Deadly Mistakes Cops can Avoid with Social Media in Business or on their personal pages.

First, Our Congratulations to our CopsAlive.com contributor Chuck Rylant who just recently retired from his career of over a decade in law enforcement to pursue his financial management business full time.  Before he opened his financial planning practice, he worked in a number of different police roles including detective and SWAT team member. He was also a firearms and self-defense tactics instructor. Way to go Chuck and congratulations on your transition!

As he has developed his financial management practice Chuck has become an expert of sorts on the business use of Social Media networks like: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  In our 30 minute interview we discuss how you can better utilize the social media networks for… Continue reading

A Time for Law Enforcement to Give Thanks

Many countries and cultures celebrate a day of thanks or harvest festival this time of year. W e in the United States celebrate our Thanksgiving Holiday this week based on the 1621 gathering of Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians who gave thanks for a bountiful harvest and their survival of the harsh conditions.

We in law enforcement have suffered a harsh year and perhaps should also give thanks for our survival, and thank those who have contributed to our lives.

Who do you need to say thank you to for your health, support and success?

Our spouses or the spouses of police officers everywhere. Police wives and spouses are the true backbone of this profession.

Our families or the family members of everyone in law enforcement.

If you are smart enough to have friends that are not in law enforcement, maybe you should say thanks for supporting you and trying to understand what a police officer goes through.

This week would be a great time to say thank you to your peers in law enforcement who keep you safe every day. Thank those in your agency as well as those who work for other police and sheriff’s agencies around you.

Say “thank you” to your Supervisors, SWAT Teams, Traffic Investigators, Air Support, and all specialized units.

Don’t forget to thank your law enforcement agency and other policing agencies… Continue reading

Law Enforcement Family Support Network

Does your agency consider itself as “one big family”? Does your agency leverage all the support it can within the community? Do you involve, train and support the loved ones of the people you place in harms way?

CopsAlive recently spoke with Sue Dion Vice President of The Law Enforcement Family Support Network about their efforts to assist law enforcement agencies in the development of support systems for family members. Sue comes from a background in higher education and her husband has had careers within the United States Navy as well as two law enforcement agencies.

The Dion’s have recognized the similarities and differences between how law enforcement and the U.S. military work with, and support family members while their loved ones are serving their country, and their communities.

One concept that Sue thinks law enforcement needs to adopt from the military mindset is the concept of “Resilience” in our force deployment so that we are always “mission ready”, and capable, of handing whatever issues confront us.

She also suggests that the quality of family support can directly impact the quality of police service within our communities and should be of higher priority when we consider the fiscal and political impact of the “well being” of our employees. Providing support for families can be simple and cost effective… Continue reading

Family Support Groups for Law Enforcement Agencies

It’s tough being married to a police officer or even being the parent or sibling of a law enforcement officer. There is fear and worry about what might happen to them. There are the moments every time you hear something about a police shooting or an accident involving a police car on the news and you don’t know if it’s your loved one or not. And there are just the everyday issues of dealing with someone who works nights, odd shifts or gets called into work on their time off. Then there is the issue of stress. Some cops share their stresses which can make their loved ones worry more; and some officers shut out their loved ones, and won’t talk about what’s eating at them, which also causes stress in their relationships. The good news is that all around the world there are groups and people starting groups to help these family members cope with these and many other issues. The other day I had a chance to interview two people who are working to do just that for their law enforcement agency…

It was my pleasure to interview Heidi Hansen and Michael Mejia. Michael is an officer with the Twin Cities Police Authority which is a combined department of the communities of Corte Madera and Larkspur California, and Heidi works at a local hospital. I met Heidi through the National Police Wives Association (NPWA) where she was on the board of directors until just recently. Michael and Heidi are living together and raising a child together and both are attending college full time while working full time as well. In addition to all of that, they are working to form a Family Group at the Twin Cities Police Authority to help support family members of the law enforcement agency. Continue reading