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… but for some agencies can become a daunting task. That’s why their Law Enforcement Family Support Network website can be such a tremendous resource for agencies in starting, and maintaining, a family support program.

It’s just a matter of getting the attention of law enforcement leadership amid all the other issues that confront them. Sue referenced the great work being done by “Safe Call Now” founder Sean Riley and his work to make national policy changes by lobbying, both in states and, in Washington D.C.

We discussed the implementation of a family support system and the many resources available from The Law Enforcement Family Support Network at their website:

Check out their “Department Best Practices” PDF document found under their “Education” tab then under the “Administrators” drop down menu.

See also the “Saint Paul Police Department, Family Academy Training Modules found under their Education tab then under “Learning Modules”

Maybe you’ve never talked with our officers or deputies about what to do if their clothes or uniforms are contaminated with blood, tear gas, or any other toxic or noxious substance. Their website is loaded with lots of online training and resources and includes something as simple as their “Laundry Procedures” for Laundering of Contaminated and Potentially Contaminated Clothing found under the ‘Education” tab then under “Learning Modules”.

You can find these and many more resources by visiting the website for The Law Enforcement Family Support Network at:

You can listen to our 58 minute interview here by clicking the play button:

Or you can download the 10 MB mp3 file by RIGHT CLICK HERE to download (that’s CONTROL CLICK if you use a Mac then SAVE LINK AS…) a copy of the mp3 file.

You can download the PDF document: “Suggestions for the Implementation of a Family Support System within your Organization” by CLICKING HERE.

For more information on Law Enforcement Family Support Systems please visit these sites:
The Law Enforcement Family Support Network:
National Police Wives Association:
Concerns of Police Survivors:
Shield of Life and Loved Ones: was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence.

We do this by Helping Law Enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond. We think the best strategy is for each officer to create a tactical plan for their own life and career.

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) works with individuals and organizations to help them create and sustain success in their lives and careers as law enforcement professionals. It is the primary goal of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute to become the preeminent source for training, resources and information about how to create and sustain a happy, healthy and successful life and career while providing superior law enforcement service to your community.

About Editor

John Marx was a Police Officer for twenty-three years and served as a Hostage Negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance initiative through the police department's Community Policing project. Today John combines his skills to consult with businesses about improving both their security and their customer service programs. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was devastated and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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