My friend and fitness author Jon Benson sent me this email. I have his permission to share it with all of my friends who are in law enforcement or are police officers, sheriff’s deputies or work in corrections. Despite the really personal details what he shares has a lot to do with people who work in law enforcement. It turns out that he had a near-fatal event in the gym and wanted to share the story with my readers. I was blown away by what he did in the name of “preventative medicine”… so read this. It may just save your life.
My Medical Emergency; This Happened Today
by Jon Benson
Sometimes you have to nearly lose it all to realize what you truly have.
I can honestly say that I have come close to death several times in my life. I’ve had my share of accidents, medical emergencies, and a near-fatal accident while driving.
But there was something about just laying on the gym floor today with two doctors hovering over me that gave me serious pause.
Time for some major reflection.
Now, before you get too alarmed (for those who know me, or just think I’m a pretty good guy… ; )… fear not. I did not have a stroke or anything like that, thank goodness.
What I did have was a major drop in blood pressure… so much that I came dangerously close… Continue reading
Teams of LE field professionals conducted hundreds of interviews prior to creating the US Department of Justice’s 222 page proposal to create Law Enforcement Stress Management Training in 1996. The results can by synopsized as follows: EAP services, CI training, and city/county-wide services are necessary, but not enough. The government’s top noted benefits of a preventative stress management program are:
• to provide a confidential, specialized approach to treating and reducing stress for officers and their families, and to improve their ability to cope with stress on their own (most officers do not trust–or use–city or county programs)
• to increase officer morale and productivity
• to increase the agency’s overall efficiency and effectiveness Continue reading
Here we tell the story of Chris Prochut (pronounced “Pro-Hut”) who was a Commander for the Bolingbrook Police Department at the height of the Drew Peterson investigation, who nearly lost his life, but instead lost his career. Watch this Fox News video then Page down to listen to our interview with Chris.
From age 10, Chris Prochut knew he wanted to be a police officer.
Upon graduation from High School in 1991, he was hired as a part-time animal control officer for the Bolingbrook Police Department.
He advanced to full-time status as a Police Cadet in 1993.
In 1995, Chris was selected to serve the Village of Bolingbrook as a 911 Police & Fire Dispatcher.
After graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Chris was hired as a Bolingbrook Police Officer in April 1996.
In August 2002, Chris was promoted to the rank of Sergeant where he supervised the C.O.P.S. (where he had worked) Unit, Animal Control, and Code Enforcement Unit.
He attended the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in January 2005 where he was chosen as Class President and was selected to receive the Kreml Leadership Award… Continue reading
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
I had a chance to interview three people who are involved in the Evansville Indiana Police Department’s Peer Support and Family Support Groups. I spoke with Police Chief Brad Hill, Sgt. Dave Barron and his wife Lori Barron in what proved to be a very informative interview.
Sergeant Barron was involved in a fatal shooting in 2003 and was then instrumental in the creation of the the department’s Peer Support Team. Because of what happened to her husband and it’s effects on her and other members of their family Lori, who is a cardiac rehab nurse, was involved in starting the Family Support Group for their Police Department. Chief Brad Hill, a 29-year veteran of the Evansville Police Department, was sworn in to office as chief in January 2004 and has been instrumental in the development of both teams through his support and leadership.
If you are considering starting either or both of these kinds of groups for your department you might ask yourself:
How does your department support officers involved in a shooting?
What about other traumatic events like the injury of an officer or their partner, how do you support them then?
How do you handle the effects of major natural disasters or mass injury accidents on the members of your department?
Do you provide support to officers who have handled cases of injured or murdered children?
What about the family of those officers involved in any of the events mentioned above?
As the founder and CEO of Trance Personnel Consulting Group (TPCG) I am proud to be working with CopsAlive.com to help police officers and other law enforcement professionals learn to cope with the stress that you endure on a day to day basis.
TPCG has chosen a field thick with stress, trauma, denial, depression, overwhelming cynicism, abuse and suicide. Providing stress management and emotional survival tools to law enforcement agencies is not something that I take lightly. Never before have we encountered a group of people so steeped in all the many realms of societal dysfunction. These men and women are asked and expected to deal with worst case scenarios on a daily basis while many of us sip our morning coffee, contemplate our day, or tuck our children in at night. Of course there are other trauma-centric professions… Continue reading
CopsAlive is proud to welcome a new contributor as we introduce Tina Ulatowski, MSW who will be offering input on nutritional issues for police officers and law enforcement agencies.
As a three time cancer survivor, Tina now shares her story as well as educates individuals, groups, schools, and healthcare professionals on the correlation between nutrition and disease. She is the author of the book “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You, A Simple Guide between Nutrition and Disease”.
Tina is a native of Colorado. She obtained her Associates of Applied Science, with an emphasis in Criminal Law in 1992. In 1994, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Social Work and a minor in Criminal Law. Then in 1999 while battling some of life’s obstacles… Continue reading
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
I had a chance to interview Lisa Wimberger of Trance Personnel Consulting Group the other day about stress and stress management for police officers and it was a fascinating discussion.
Lisa works on a national level with law enforcement officers suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, both at the agency and individual police officer levels. Lisa’s ability to bring tools to law enforcement agencies offers a proactive solution to stress management and crisis intervention. She provides techniques that are a simple pathway to a healthier police officer and their law enforcement organization as well.
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
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