EDITORS NOTE:The Law Enforcement Survival Institute was approached by The University of Colorado Colorado Springs School of Public Affairs about promoting a new research project investigating the concept of moral injury within law enforcement. The findings from this project entitled: Advancing Officer Wellness: A Study of On-Duty Experiences and their Impacts among Law Enforcement Professionals, can be used to raise awareness of officer’s experiences and to develop programming that supports officer wellness. The Law Enforcement Survival Institute wholeheartedly supports this very interesting research and we encourage you to investigate further, join the project, and help us spread the word to others.
Here’s some information to get you started and you can connect with the links below:
Purpose Statement: In light of the stresses of police work, recent years have brought heightened attention to the tolls of the job on individual officers. These can include illness, mental and behavioral health challenges, and even suicide. There is thus a strong push for proactive efforts to advance health, wellness, and resilience among officers. This study seeks to support and advance those efforts.
Background: Policing professionals face traumatic and morally injurious events in the line of duty. the effects of trauma and moral injury can include posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance misuse, spiritual and religious struggle, and more. This study is an important step in bolstering resilience among those working in the policing profession. Findings can be used to raise awareness of officer’s experiences and to develop programming that supports officer wellness…
EDITORS NOTE:Earlier in the year we created a Trends Report for some of our clients and now would like to make it available to everyone who reads CopsAlive.com. While some of the statistics might be getting a little dated, the trends are holding strong. Please add your comments in the box at the bottom of the article.
CLICK HERE if you would like to download an executive summary of this report.
There are a number of negative forces at work on the law enforcement profession right now that have never had such a powerful influence. These factors at their face value are menacing but it is the lesser seen damage that is truly hurting our profession, and its people, right now. What’s worst is that these effects will ripple through our industry for years to come.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute has identified five trends in law enforcement and policing that are causing major shifts in the way we mobilize our personnel and provide our services. This report does not focus on the CAUSE of these trends but rather the EFFECTS these trends have on the well-being and performance of law enforcement personnel.
Some have labelled these trends as critical issues and others have called them a crisis. This report is not intended to get you to focus on these five discouraging trends but rather… Continue reading
Choosing and Change by new CopsAlive Contributor
Tammy Featherstone, Sgt. (retired)
Growing up in a strict, conservative, Southern Baptist home came with many challenges. In addition, I was not a conventional girl. I loved being outdoors, playing sports and “rough housing”. I realized early on I didn’t view things the same way my parents did. My father was misogynistic and reminded my sister and I, more frequently than I care to remember, that he was the “head of the house”. I challenged my father quite a bit growing up. It didn’t work out so well for me. I can’t explain the feeling of being a small child and being hit by a grown man.
Affecting Social Change In The Way We Train Police Officers
Current news reports are increasingly rife with stories about communities clashing with their police departments as a result of excessive force and police misconduct. At the same time, law enforcement agencies are concerned with PTSD, police officer suicides, increased incidence of illnesses amongst police officers, lower than normal life expectancy, depression, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and ethical compromise.
All these problems stem from the same root causes: A career in law enforcement presents challenges to the human spirit, and the pressures of the career deplete officers in a way that is unique to law enforcement.
Officers experiences endless exposure to danger, stress and tragedy, which depletes their reserves of idealism, motivation and personal resilience. Without effective ways to replenish the human spirit, build resilience and restore ethical clarity, it is possible to reach a state of personal “overdraft” or,… Continue reading
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
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
Recently, we were in Washington D.C. attending a banquet called Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide. This first time banquet was held in conjunction with National Police Week and was sponsored by BLUE H.E.L.P. Its purpose was to honor and recognize the service of offices who made that fateful decision and their survivors. It is Blue HELP’s mission to put names and faces to the men and women of Law Enforcement whose emotional injuries become too much to bear. Although the number of Law Enforcement personnel who take their own lives typically exceeds… Continue reading
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
Have you read the 458 page softcover resilience textbook: Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement and want to learn more?
We are bringing our Armor Your Self™ workshops to a city near you:
Armor Your Self™ 2019 Preliminary Spring Workshop Calendar includes workshops in Daytona Beach, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; Omaha, Nebraska; Pueblo, Colorado; Glendale, Arizona and one hosted by the Louisiana State Police.
To learn more or register for one of these workshops visit: https://armoryourself.com/register/
The Armor Your Self™ project is a powerful concept that will begin building the foundations of law enforcement health and wellness for your personnel, your families and for your organization.
The program is taught as a Resilience Research Learning Laboratory with all the participants researching, discussing and learning information that is specific, and important to them.
Each participant receives a copy of the 458 page softcover resilience textbook: Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement by John Marx (a $24.95 value).
Participants will find the tools they need to recognize the symptoms of the toxic effects… Continue reading
It’s National Suicide Prevention Week again (September 9th – 15th, 2018) in the United States which is a week-long campaign to inform and engage health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide.
I lost one of my law enforcement friends to suicide in 2007 and that’s what prompted me to start CopsAlive.com.
In my opinion, law enforcement suicide is a symptom of what ails our profession, and it should be an priority issue to resolve — but it hasn’t been.
This year, I thought I would follow suit with some other enlightened thinkers on this issue and challenge you to think about how our law enforcement culture contributes to suicide, and how we can fix that… Continue reading
Welcome to CopsAlive!
Our motto is "Saving the lives of the people who save lives!"
Contact us and let us know what you would like to learn from us!
Press the Play Button for a Message from our Editor, John Marx
Download A Free Copy of the Newest Edition of Jack Digliani's Law Enforcement Peer Support Team Manual (Click the Image Below)
Download Jack Digliani's Newest Critical Incident Handbook (Click the Image Below)
Download A Free Copy of our CopsAlive LE Suicide Prevention Rollcall Discussion Guide (Click the Image Below)
Visit the Veteran Association's National Center for PTSD
SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity!