PTSD Awareness Day 2014

In honor of U.S. National PTSD Awareness Day please visit the website of the National Center for PTSD to learn more about this disorder. PTSD Awareness Day is part of U.S. National PTSD Awareness Month which was created to bring awareness to this psychological disorder.

Their concept is simple: Raise PTSD Awareness

Learn. Connect. Share.
Learn: PTSD treatment can help
Connect: Reach out to someone
Share: Spread the word

Our Law Enforcement Survival Institute, and CopsAlive.com recommendation is to consider a four-part approach to encouraging the emotional well-being or the people in your law enforcement agency:

1. Learn all you can about PTSD using some of our recommended links below and the hold a discussion at your department using our 10-Minute Roll Call Discussion Guide on the Police PTSD Paradox CLICK HERE to download the discussion guide.

2. Initiate Police Psychologist Jack Digliani’s “Make It Safe” Initiative that promotes making it safe for officers to ask for psychological support
CLICK HERE to learn more about the initiative on Jack Digliani’s website

CLICK HERE to download Jack Digliani’s Implementation Guide for the “Make It Safe” Initiative

CLICK HERE to download a poster/info sheet about the “Make It Safe” Initiative.

3. Publicize the Safe Call Now crisis hotline for first responders
Add the number into your contact list 1-206-459-3020 and publicize it around your agency.
CLICK HERE to visit their website and learn more about their great work

CLICK HERE to download the Safe Call Now Brochure

4. Start or recommit to a Proactive Peer Support program within your department. Our belief at CopsAlive.com is that Peer Support should be formalized and encouraged throughout the agency or department and should be a proactive initiative where Peer Support Team members regularly check-in with their peers rather than waiting from someone to approach them.
CLICK HERE to download Psychologist Jack Digliani’s Peer Support

CLICK HERE to download Peer Support Guidelines as published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2011

If you would like to learn more about Police PTSD… Continue reading

New Information on Police Suicide

breakingthesilencecoverNew IACP Program on Police Officer Suicide

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has just released a new resource for law enforcement on police officer suicide, with information and resources on prevention and response to the problem of law enforcement officer suicide. The resources on their website are from their symposium entitled: “Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Officer Suicide and Mental Health” and their website is loaded with lots of downloadable and reproducible materials.

According to the IACP website: “To address the mental health stigma within law enforcement as well as the critical issue of law enforcement suicide, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in partnership with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice (COPS) hosted Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Officer Suicide and Mental Health in July 2013. The participants at the symposium, which included the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, law enforcement and mental health professionals, worked together to develop a national strategy to address officer mental health wellness and suicide prevention”.

You can find their information… Continue reading

John Marx to Speak at Asian Law Enforcement Stress Conference

LEWMcoverLaw Enforcement Survival Institute Executive Director and CopsAlive.com Editor John Marx has been invited to speak next week in Kuala Lumpur to law enforcement officials and government enforcement agencies about “Managing Stress in Times of Crisis”.

John will be reviewing our three main training programs: Armor Your Self™, Armor Your Agency™, and True Blue Valor™.

Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE

The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE

Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE

The symposium, promoted by MeLearn Global, entitled Law Enforcement Psychology Masterclass is being held June 3rd & 4th 2014 at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel just outside Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

This symposium has just opened up extra spots for a few more attendees. This symposium is for law enforcement officials only. If you would like to learn more information… 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

Consider a Proactive Annual Check In

Start the New Year with a Proactive Annual Check In

Police work is tough business and it will eat you up if you don’t care for your “self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally in law enforcement is usually NOT something you can do alone. Proper care requires Proactive Peer Support, Psychological Services and Chaplains Programs and other support services to be effective.

Police psychologist Jack Digliani has just produced the 5th Edition of his Police and Sheriff’s Peer Support Team Training Manual which he has always made available for free here on CopsAlive.com. He is also recommending that police officers agencies, and other law enforcement professionals consider doing an Annual Proactive Check-In.

What is a Proactive Annual Check In?

The Proactive Annual Check-In (PAC) provides police officers… Continue reading

A Law Enforcement Christmas

As the Christmas holiday approaches we would like to say thank you and best wishes to all those who work in law enforcement. Here is some of our favorite material that say so much about our career. Enjoy!

First, is this video Former Ohio State Trooper Bob Welsh Shares His Christmas Eve Story and we are sharing it with you with our very best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Safe Christmas this year!

My Christmas Eve by Bob Welsh

Bob is a retired cop and expert storyteller. He served in the U.S. Navy and had a 30 year career with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

I highly recommend his book: Embers From a Storytellers Mind which is also available as an audio CD. Click Here to visit Bob’s website at BobWelsh.com.

Second, here is our favorite poem from PolicePoems.com about the profession: Continue reading

Fitness Monday – The Power of Connection

connectionbyjazbeck

One of the most powerful tools a law enforcement officer can use to maintain their fitness is the power of connection.  Before I elaborate let’s make some distinctions.

First what does the concept of fitness mean to you?  To us at the Law Enforcement Survival Institute fitness means your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness for duty and overall wellness for life’s challenges and joys.

Secondly, connection in this case means to us your ability to maintain connections to family, people, support networks, resources, some higher power and other areas that can strengthen and support you in your life and your work in law enforcement.

So what does the concept of connection have to do with your fitness in police work?

If you look at our over-riding definition of fitness listed above you will recognize that our concept of fitness impacts your whole being or “self” and that in order to strengthen and maintain your peak levels of fitness you must be conditioning your “self” in four areas: physically, mentally, emotionally as well as spiritually.  Many police officers and other law enforcement professionals only train themselves physically to survive the rigors of this profession.  If that’s all you do, then we are concerned about the threats to you from what we call the hidden dangers of law enforcement like police officer suicide, heart disease, cumulative stress, PTSD, various forms of cancer and other things that will take your life.  If you take your personal threat assessment further to the things that don’t kill you but can make your life miserable then we include threats like fatigue, divorce, financial ruin, alcoholism…, Continue reading

Fitness Monday – The Power of Proper Equipment

In law enforcement and police work we have a lot of tools to get the job done properly. One area where we might be falling down is our selection of the proper fitness equipment for both our sports and job fitness training. Choosing the proper fitness training equipment like running or cycling shoes, clothing, exercise equipment, cycles etc. can make all the difference between success and failure. For policing professionals our fitness tools are just as important as the tools we use on the job.

In his article this week you will see that Scott wore out his favorite cycling shoes so this YouTube video from LiveStrong.com entitled: “How to Choose Proper Cycling Shoes” is for him

Hi everyone, good to be back after a week in North Dakota. No exercise, unless you call reading highway safety reports and eating hotel food all week exercise.

Did you know that it’s hot and humid in south Louisiana? You’d think I would know that too, but it didn’t stop me from overdoing it this weekend. But don’t “I told you so” too quickly. I was inspired by the wonderful folks I’ve rejoined in our Bayou Country Cyclists team, and our MS 150 training ride was an event I had to participate in. Even though I was still under hydrated and over-stuffed with Bismarck’s best cuisine.

Today’s ride brought a little sadness though. Ever get attached to something… Continue reading

Fitness Monday – The Power of Reclaiming Your Health

2013-07-13-09-06-13How to you benchmark 20 weeks of concerted efforts for reclaiming health?  Just show up!

I’ve been chipping away with daily runs, yoga and cycling. Most after work rides allow about 25 – 30 mile rides through beautiful bayous and endless acres of sweeping sugarcane fields. My cycling club, Bayou Country Cyclists held the regular Saturday ride. The club president, Christy J. e-mailed me Friday and said just show up.

75 miles and 4 hours later, I had completed a distance I used to bike regularly enroute to completing century rides. After 2 years, 45 pounds gained, dangerously high BP, and begrudgingly sedentary lifestyle, I had reclaimed the healthy habits I practiced for an entire life.

It was a perfect day for celebrating 20 weeks as a long-time friend showed up for the ride, and for those of you who are fans of the History channels’ Swamp People, the alligator hunter

“ZZ” was kind enough to offer us much needed… Continue reading

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Running Your Own Business

By New CopsAlive.com Contributor Laurie Taylor

Editors Note:
Laurie has been a good friend of CopsAlive.com for many years and in fact we interviewed her in July 2009 about the “5 Critical Concepts You Must Know to Start a Business” and her interview was met with such an outstanding response that we have asked her to become a regular contributor on CopsAlive.com for issues related to the successful operation of a business. Why is that important to me as a police officer you ask? We believe that one way to successfully navigate this very toxic career in law enforcement is to always have a back-up plan. One very effective back-up plan for cops is to start your own business while you are still working and grow it into an successful money maker so that if you ever need to, or want to, retire it will be there to protect you.

If you are a law enforcement professional and are running your own business and you think you need to spend more money on marketing, or to hire a sales person, or to buy the latest and greatness gadget for your business, I have some advice for you. STOP!

As a police officer or other law enforcement officer I know that having a financial back-up plan is important to you and starting or… Continue reading