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

Secondary PTSD – What is it?

secondaryPTSD(This is PART TWO in series of PTSD – What Is it? by Robert Rabe) CLICK HERE to read Part 1

EDITORS NOTE: the following is a guest post from Robert Rabe a Vietnam Veteran who also has 39 Years of Law Enforcement Experience.

Every critical incident has similarities, and everyone is different. And every law enforcement officer’s reaction is individual to them as well. Some officers go through the process of integrating the experience into their psyche without difficulty. Usually this is with the help of others (peer group counseling,debriefings). It is difficult to do it alone. But what can the family possibly do to help the officer? The family can make sure that nothing is missed,especially, if medication is needed. But sometimes medication or even intervention isn’t good enough. Needless to say, if the officer has turned to becoming sullen and melancholy, they are a different person than before the critical incident and onset of PTSD. At this point, the family becomes the secondary victim, and loyalty is tested. The spouse,the children can suffer from secondary PTSD, which is not widely discussed in the mainstream media. Secondary PTSD, while not recognized with diagnostic criteria, is based on the concept, that… Continue reading

Blue Trauma Syndrome

EDITORS NOTE:
The following material is from the new book “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement“ to be published later this year by John Marx the founder of CopsAlive.com.

At the Law Enforcement Survival Institute we define “Blue Trauma Syndrome” as a spectrum of negative physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health-effects manifested by a career in law enforcement. Blue trauma syndrome most certainly has it’s roots in large or cumulative doses of negative occupational stress and manifests many negative physiological, mental, emotional and spiritual symptoms.

Stress makes for an interesting enemy. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it and most times you can’t even describe it. But it is there, and it attacks us every day. We must defend ourselves and armor ourselves from it’s effects otherwise a careers worth of battle fatigue will overtake all of us. I know that I am speaking in generalities here but I think a proper amount of introspection will reveal this is true for the vast majority of us.

Now you can read all the research that’s out there (and there isn’t enough) on the effect stress has on law enforcement officers but it still doesn’t give us enough information about what stresses will get to us. Part of the problem is because the same stress will affect each officer differently and it’s… Continue reading

Quiet Your Mind

soundwavebyjbaerSm Can You Quiet Your Mind? For law enforcement professionals the importance of being able to quiet your mind is critical as the thoughts, ideas, plans and excessive noise in our heads can become overwhelming. Even in their more mild expressions these thoughts can keep us from being focused, attentive, alert and might disturb our sleep. The profession of law enforcement can be quite toxic and contributes many direct threats to your mental and emotional well-being, not to mention your spiritual health. Things like poverty, tragedy, trauma, death and destruction can be overwhelming and thoughts about these things blend with your everyday thoughts to contribute lots of noise in your mind. Your ability to control and “quiet” that noise might become a very valuable tool in the challenge for you to be able to stay alive or to even survive a full career. Those in police work need to learn to calm and quiet their minds in order to stay focused, mentally alert, and safe. We are attaching a written procedure for quieting your mind as well as a 10 minute audio recording to guide you… Continue reading

PTSD – WHAT IS IT?

EDITORS NOTE: the following is a guest post from Robert Rabe a Vietnam Veteran who also has 39 Years of Law Enforcement Experience.

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a new name for an old story and there are many complexities to its definition. The name, recognizing a medical condition, was coined several years after the onset of the Vietnam War. Similar symptoms demonstrated by soldiers following the Civil War were called nostalgia. GIs during WWI were said to have shell shock. Military personnel from WWII and the Korean Conflict were suffering combat fatigue. No matter what term is used, the symptoms are the same.

There are many descriptions of PTSD:
PTSD – a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma.
PTSD – is a set of symptoms that surface following a dangerous, frightening and uncontrollable event including: sleep disturbance, flashbacks, anxiety, tiredness and depression.
PTSD – is a condition recognized by the prevalence of one or more symptoms affecting people who have
experienced severe emotional trauma such as combat, crime or natural disaster.
PTSD – a person may demonstrate symptomatic behavior after seeing or experiencing a traumatizing event where grave injury or death is involved.

You can find the most recent clinical definition… Continue reading

Coping With On-The-Job Stress and Injuries

How many current and former law enforcement officers are out there suffering with mental and physical injuries; and how do we help them? Listen to our interview with a former officer who talks about his battles with PTSD and the injuries that forced his retirement.

Recently I had a chance to have a very candid discussion with “M” a retired officer from a mid-sized police department in the eastern United States.. “M” asked that I not use his name to protect his privacy, but he had some interesting things to say about his struggle with PTSD and the injuries that forced him to leave the job he loved.

You can listen to our… Continue reading

The Future of Stress Management for Law Enforcement

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

CopsAlive.com Needs Your Ideas and Input!

CopsAlive needs your help. Our mission is to create a forum for cops to help other cops by engaging in discussions and sharing ideas and information to help each other plan for happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond the job.

Most of all we need readers. If you like what you are reading here please pass it on. Send a link or a note to all of your law enforcement friends online or tell them to check out Continue reading

The Mathematics of Stress in Law Enforcement

Common wisdom always dictates that you must subtract things to make your life better.  If you are on a diet you must reduce calories, if you are on a budget you must reduce your debt, and if you are a cop you must learn to reduce the effects of negative stresses.

However, human nature really wants to add to our lives when we are stressed.  We drink more, smoke more or eat more.  Maybe as police officers we should take advantage of our human nature and find ways to add positive things instead of negative things that will only cause more stress and compound the problem. Continue reading

Stress: Cause or Symptom

When you really examine the side-effects of a law enforcement career on the men and women who take the oath and don the badge it’s kind of scary.

First examine the rate 100 to 200 police officers who are killed in the line of duty in the U.S. alone each year.  Then if you dig deeper, the statistics show that things like suicide, cancer and other side effects of the police career that kill thousands more cops each year. Continue reading