The CopsAlive Total Wellness Project is a community effort to ensure the wellness of police officers around the world by gathering tips, suggestions, stories, strategies and resources from law enforcement officers to help other cops survive this career.
We are planning on creating a special report on how to create total wellness for police officers and protect ourselves from all the threats that affect us in or following a law enforcement career.
CopsAlive.com was created to help law enforcement officers successfully navigate their careers and build happy, healthy lives. We believe that law enforcement is the most noble of professions and acknowledge that many people working in law enforcement make sacrifices everyday to make our communities safer and happier. We believe that those professionals in law enforcement also deserve to be happy, healthy and successful and we intend to help them plan for that by collecting and disseminating information that will help them have better careers and better lives. We accomplish this by establishing a running commentary on the Internet through the use of a web log or Blog. We create interactive discussions and stimulate action around the hidden dangers facing the police. We use survey instruments online, and in person, to discover the beliefs of our industry and we tailor information strategies and tools for them from this information. If you believe in this mission and have something to contribute we would welcome it.
We are looking for stories, examples and strategies that will re-enforce a sense of total wellness and protect us from all the threats that confront a policing professional in or following a career in law enforcement.
The final product a “Special Report” will be distributed free to police officers and other law enforcement professionals around the world.
Everyone who contributes to the report will automatically receive… Continue reading
I recently had a chance to travel through Europe and Northern Africa and speak with police officers in eight different countries. One thing that I encountered was a language barrier and some mistrust and perhaps misunderstanding that we are all connected by a profession that in one of the most challenging on earth.
Because of this we will be translating this short article into 11 other languages in order to gather more officers input from around the world. Then in future articles we will attempt to address the issues you tell us are most important to you.
One thing we have learned is that Police officers themselves must discuss the health issues that challenge… Continue reading
During a recent board meeting for the Colorado Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) the group was discussing how to best assist our survivors that were going to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial ceremony for the first time. The experienced members of the group knew that the event could be overwhelming to a first time survivor or visitor if they didn’t know what to expect. National C.O.P.S. sends survivors an orientation video, but some of our members who had been to National Police Week, which is commemorated every May here in the United States, knew it is an emotional roller coaster for the most experienced participant and it can be absolutely overwhelming to someone who doesn’t know what to expect. The Colorado Chapter of C.O.P.S. always puts together care packages in the form of goodie bag for the family to take that includes things like snacks, water, and umbrella and even a disposable camera, but this year the group decided to draw upon some of the experience we all shared and conduct an interview with some of our board members and put together a tip sheet to help… Continue reading
There seems to have been a rash of police officers arrested lately and I wonder what we as a profession are going to do about it.
We talk about the effects of stress on the job a lot here at CopsAlive.com and we talk about police officer suicide, alcohol abuse, divorce, domestic violence but this is one of the side effects that we don’t talk about too often. Is this representative of a few “bad apples” or is it a bigger issue of officers not being able to handle the stresses of the job. Does that mean we picked the wrong people for the job or did the job get to these men who were basically good people?
Superfoods are a group of natural (unprocessed), ultra-nutritious foods that provide many essential health benefits. They’re powerful enough to help lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even put you in a better mood. Do they sound too good to be true? Nope. Superfoods are readily available at your local grocer.
Dietary experts have flagged the following foods as being superfoods: berries, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, green foods, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, oats, olives and olive oil, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, orange vegetables, sea vegetables, seeds, soy, tea, tomatoes, turkey, whole grains, yogurt and kefir.
The language of superfoods can also be confusing, because many of the terms for nutrients overlap. Here is… Continue reading
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?