The Terrible Toll Working In Law Enforcement Takes On Its People

By: Brian T. McVey, MAP

Over the last several months we have seen protests, gun violence and anti-police sentiments break out in cities around the country it has made national headlines. Unfortunately, the news doesn’t report the toll these circumstances take on officers across the country. If we truly want them to work at their best there needs to be a constant spotlight on the unique stressors those working in law enforcement face.

Our goal is to go home at the end of the night. If you are blessed to work your entire career without getting physically injured, consider yourself lucky. But, as we know, countless officers, and civilian staff members, go home daily with an emotional toll that few could possibly understand… Continue reading

Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention Update 2020

On the last day of National Suicide Prevention month it is time again for us to reevaluate our work to prevent law enforcement suicides and rededicate ourselves to the work that must be done.

This has been a busy month with lots of new information resources offered about suicide prevention for law enforcement.

What is really important is that we are starting to realize that we must think comprehensively when it comes to officer safety, wellness and suicide prevention. Most of the problems we see are just signs and symptoms of underlying problems that we have to address is many ways.

Listed at the end of this article are a variety of resources… Continue reading

LESI Wellness Panel Discussion

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) invites you to view our wellness panel discussion that was streamed live online on April 23, 2020.

This wellness and resilience information is suitable for all first responders and your family members. We will have a live audience and will record it for others to watch, later for free, on the CopsAlive.com YouTube channel.

With all that is happening in the world today maintaining your health and wellness is of paramount importance. Law enforcement professionals, other first responders and members of the military are normally faced with the most challenging situations in the world and now with a new global pandemic to face your personal wellness is mission critical.

OUR PANELISTS
John Marx, CPP
Law Enforcement Chaplain Cary Friedman
NYPD Detective First Grade (Ret.) Mordecai Z. Dzikansky
Sgt. Clarke Paris, LVMPD (ret.)
Tracie Paris, RN, BSN
Lois James, Ph.D.
Stephen James, Ph.D.

OUR MODERATOR
Christie Ward, CSP


Time: Duration 129 minutes

Who: All First Responders and Your Family Members

What: Online discussion of everyday wellness challenges and resilience strategies

INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PANELISTS:… Continue reading

First Responder Health – Thinking Outside the Box

EDITORS NOTE: Guest contributor Sean Peterson is a patrolman with the Taunton Police Department in Southeastern Massachusetts and a member of the regional Critical Incident Stress Management team. He is also the owner and performance director at Chaos Fitness.

I sat down to write this in the wake of New York City Police Department’s ninth suicide this year. The current Blue H.E.L.P. statistics stand at 131 suicides on the year, with four months to go. Protesters are literally begging police to commit suicide in Portland, Oregon. With what feels like everyone and everything against us, how do we rise above the darkness? Below I have outlined some thoughts and ideas surrounding mental and physical health we first responders can easily employ in such trying times.

A Physical and Mental Approach

“Combat” or “Square” Breathing
Here’s the simple process…
1. Intently breath in with strong focus- slowly counting 1, 2, 3, 4
2. hold that breath counting 1, 2, 3 ,4
3. slowly and consistently exhale that breath 1, 2, 3, 4
4. repeat

Simply put, combat/square breathing is an effective way to calm the nervous system. It is a very basic introduction to the world of mindfulness, creating space between ourselves and our reactions. It brings our focus to the present moment by concentrating our attention on our breathing, allowing us to slow things down for a while, so our bodies can catch up. Consider implementing this technique to offset the adrenaline spikes and stressors associated with hot calls, inter-department nonsense and the obstacles of everyday life. The beauty of this technique is… Continue reading

Managing The Trauma Suffered In Law Enforcement

This week we will be continuing our online discussions about modern policing as part of our Tactical Resilience™ & Ethical Policing Project. We want to ignite a thoughtful, and regular, discussion about issues critical to the success of modern policing and we want to involve you! To that end we are planning regular webinars that will last about an hour.  talking about how law enforcement officers, and other first responders, manage the trauma they encounter within their careers. Our focus will be on the prevention, management and recovery from trauma.

Our guest will be Law Enforcement Survival Institute faculty member NYPD Intelligence Detective First Grade (Ret.) Mordecai Z. Dzikansky.

As part of NYPD’s Manhattan South Homicide Squad Det. Dzikansky responded to, and participated in the investigation at, ground zero following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Additionally, from January 2003 through 2008… Continue reading

We Need a RE-evolution in Law Enforcement

I believe that law enforcement is the most noble of all professions.

I believe that the people who take a job or take an oath to protect and to serve their community in law enforcement should be honored and celebrated for that decision.

I believe we should be held to a higher standard.

I believe we should be nurtured, supported, encouraged and esteemed for that higher standard.

I believe that higher standard is a colossal commitment that should not be accepted lightly.

I believe many, many law enforcement professionals are suffering in silence because the burden of service in this profession is substantial and the expectations are monumental.

We are the Guardians of the Peace – we are the thin blue line between a peaceful society and anarchy.

We have promised… Continue reading

How’s Your Brain?

How’s Your Brain Doing?

Building and maintaining mental strength is critical to your performance and effectiveness in life and at work.

In the book Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement I talk about the importance of strengthening your “Self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

When I talk about mental health and fitness, I’m talking about the cognitive functioning and fitness you need to thrive as a law enforcement professional or other emergency responder.

The other things you might think of as “mental health” are covered in the emotional and spiritual health categories of our overall plan for building Tactical Resilience™ and I will, or have, covered them in other articles (See Below).

For the purposes of our discussion here I want you to think about the cognitive functions that are critical to your performance in your capacity as a law enforcement professional or other emergency responder role.

To me mental strength comes from regular conditioning much like… Continue reading

PTSD Awareness Day June 2017

Today is PTSD Awareness Day 2017 and June is PTSD Awareness Month here in the United States. Law enforcement officers can experience overwhelming issues of cumulative stress and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder known as PTSD. We need to start taking care of each other. Continue reading

Armor Your Self and Build Tactical Resilience

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute is proud to announce the release of John Marx’s new book: Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement.

The book helps law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in order to build Tactical Resilience™.

This book also provides guidance and support for law enforcement family members to use in order to learn how to help their family survive that career in policing.

This book is about “Saving the Lives of the People Who Save Lives”

Police work is the most toxic job on the planet, and if the members of the law enforcement community don’t take measures to protect themselves, this job will eat them up!

If law enforcement officers did a true threat assessment of their careers, they would realize that the real dangers lie not with the bad guys, but within the stresses of the job. High rates of suicide, depression, alcoholism, domestic violence, PTSD, heart attack and cancer are the real cop killers.

In this book you will learn about: Continue reading

Plant the Seeds for Comprehensive Fitness Today!

It’s the beginning of a new year and everyone in the world is thinking about improving their physical fitness. You on the other hand are a police professional and you know that you have to think of yourself as a professional police athlete who trains all the time, and will do so for the rest of your life. You do that because you know that this career is filled with hidden dangers that can be toxic to your physical and emotional health. You know that in order to adequately Armor Your Self™ against the negative side-effects of this career you must strengthen and condition your Self mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually every day.

Sure, you know all this, but it’s hard to do. So why don’t you use this new year to recharge your batteries and set some fresh goals to take care of yourself. Why don’t you create a positive mindset of comprehensive fitness for your Self and get started today.

How do law enforcement officers stay healthy? Continue reading