Editors Note: This is a guest article written by Anne Bisek, Psy.D. about the activities of the West Coast Posttrauma Retreat. They are trying to learn more about PTSD and how it affects law enforcement officers and other first responders. Please help them out by taking their online survey and maybe referring someone you know to them for assistance.
Pedro sat in front of his computer, when Jay snuck up from behind him with a can of jalapeño flavored jelly beans.
“What the –?” Pedro gasped.
Jay laughed. “You gotta try one of these. Hey, what are you doing? That looks like Survey Monkey.”
Pedro grabbed the jar away from his colleague, a veteran of the police department for 9 years. “You are going to hurt someone with that.”
Inside, Pedro breathed a sigh of relief. This was the first halfhearted attempt at a practical joke he had seen from his friend in months. Since the last SIDS call, Jay had lost his usual spunk, and was less interested in the banter at the office.
“So you have PTSD?” Jay asked hesitantly.
“That is not the point. WCPR needs a lot of cops to fill this out because what is normal to us isn’t normal to the general population. The measure will also be able to… Continue reading
The issues of fatigue and poor sleep quality are become more and more important to effective law enforcement management. Police managers, supervisors and officers, need to be aware of the issues and liabilities that surround officers who are fatigued at work, and how that might affect their job performance. Individual officers need to be responsible for insuring that they are properly rested and ready for work. Effective stress management and proper sleep habits work hand in hand and law enforcement professional need to know how to care for themselves as well as they care for their communities.
In his article “Sleep Deprivation: What Does It Mean for Public Safety Officers?”, written for the National Institute of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Brian Vila, Ph.D. cited that
“More than 90 percent report being routinely fatigued, and 85 percent report driving while drowsy.” He also suggested that “Sleep deprivation is dangerous. Researchers have shown that being awake for 19 hours produces impairments that are comparable to… Continue reading
Today is National PTSD Awareness Day in the United States and should be a call to action for law enforcement to begin discussions about PTSD within our organizations, and begin the processes needed to manage and treat this disorder which plagues so many within our ranks.
Many law enforcement officers, many members of the armed forces, women and children who have been victimized and many many other people around the country and the world suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and we… Continue reading
Many have searched for the pattern, or a model, to explain why the rich are rich. Thomas Stanley has made a living studying and writing about wealthy people. He found consistent behaviors among them and first wrote about it in the “Millionaire Next Door.”
In the classic book published in 1937, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill wrote about the “16 laws of success” after twenty years of studying wealthy people.
Certainly many things separate the rich from the poor. Contrary to what the poor want to believe, it’s not only luck or fate. Of the 2009 Forbes 400 richest, 274 (68%) are self-made, but… Continue reading
Safe Call Now the crisis hotline for cops and first responders and Hazelden Treatment Centers are sponsoring a symposium on “First Responders – PTSD and Addiction” in Bellevue Washington on June 10th.
Learn from leading experts as they address issues surrounding PTSD and addiction problems among public safety and emergency services employees. Key topics include addressing the matters that impact… Continue reading
As police officers, we talk a lot about being warriors. We’ve all heard members of the military talk about being warriors, but even other people describe themselves as “road warriors” or “weekend warriors”. Everyone from nurses to stock brokers describe themselves as “warriors” and you can even find a warrior diet, and a website where they list warrior names for baby’s.
There are warrior books, warrior companies, warrior games, warrior trucks and even warrior cats. I guess if you are a warrior, you know what you are.
Maybe the word is a little over used, or maybe we need to define ourselves as warriors, in the context of law enforcement.
As law enforcement officers, we certainly can describe ourselves as warriors because at times we may have to enter into a fight to the death, and many times our lives are threatened during the normal course of a day, but is that the whole picture?
I don’t think so. I think we define ourselves as warriors because of what the word symbolizes about our approach to life, work and the world around us. Does it mean that we are always at war? No, it means that we are always prepared to deal with violence if it comes to us, or the communities we protect. More importantly… Continue reading
Editors Note: I received this email from Keith Gilman and it speaks for itself:
I’m a police officer in the Philadelphia area. My first book is now out in Trade Paperback. It’s called “Father’s Day”. It’s a detective novel set in Philly. Makes a great Father’s Day gift for cops and their families. I’m hoping for a lot of support from law enforcement and I am donating a percentage of the book sales to Police Survivors. Hope you’ll help me spread the word to your many colleagues and associates. Please do visit my website at www.keithgilman.com and order at Amazon.com
It’s time again for National Police Week here in the United States. This year the event runs May 15-21, 2011 although events in Washington, D.C will be held from May 13th until May 16th.
According to the Fraternal Order of Police D.C. Lodge #1 website “In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.”
Last year at this time we prepared an article and series of interviews with survivors and police officers who have “been there” to help guide “first timers” through the maze of events and seminars during National Police Week. We even included a down-loadable tip sheet. That information is timeless and we are inviting you to revisit that information if you would like to learn more and prepare yourself for a trip this year or in the future.
Our article from last year with interviews and a down-loadable tip sheet can be found by CLICKING HERE or by searching our site (see the “Investigate Our Site” box in the upper right corner).
Use this QR code to quickly download our Tip Sheet into your phone.
This book will definitely have an impact on all who read it.
With a synopsis of the author’s career and the struggles he and his family endured as a result of his chosen profession, a chapter written by his wife giving her perspective of that career, and a chapter by David Joseph, a respected psychologist, readers are somewhat prepared when they begin to read about ‘Our Heroes’.
‘Our Heroes’ are 8 featured police officers who took their own lives. Each one of the officers are portrayed as the amazing human beings they were and it is a complete waste and disappointment that they are not with us today.
The most heart wrenching portions of this book however, are the letters from the officers’ loved ones. Letters were written to each officer after their death. Questions like “Why”, “What were you thinking”, “Why didn’t you talk to me”, and “Was it really that hard to ask for help?” are asked and of course, will never be answered by the one they are asking.
My Life For Your Life not only tells a story, but explains to police officers,… Continue reading
There were two police officer suicides within the last week that I am aware of, and maybe more. Despite our best efforts at dealing with the toxic effects of a career in law enforcement, we still see the signs and symptoms everywhere. In our training programs on these issues we talk about “fire spotters” in a nod to the fire service we think of peers and family members as the first line of defense in the battle to overcome some of the “hidden dangers” of law enforcement like suicide, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse and other challenges to our health. Yet, we still find that many agencies don’t have these front lines of defense and aren’t doing all that they can to help care for the precious human resources that we use to staff our law enforcement agencies and provide support their families as well.
In an effort to improve that process, and not force everyone to reinvent the wheel, we are calling on all law enforcement agencies and organizations from around the globe to put forth their best polices as samples that others might adapt and implement so that all agencies might safeguard our officers and their families.
Specifically we are looking for policies on “Law Enforcement Peer Support Programs”, “Law Enforcement Family Support Programs”, “Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Programs” and any policies that deal with the intervention and recovery process when dealing with an officer… Continue reading
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