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
What is the most frightening thing a police officer will ever face?
What takes more courage to confront than any other single thing in law enforcement?
What is the one thing that we have pledged above all to our brothers and sisters in law enforcement?
The answer to all three of these questions is the same: “Taking care of our own” and more specifically: 1) confronting a peer who is losing control of their life or their career, and working to get them some help; 2) Having the strength to maintain the “thin blue line” and rescue a co-worker who is battling alcoholism, depression, drug addiction, or suicidal thoughts; and finally 3) “Never Leaving Anyone Behind” because if we don’t take care of our own, who will? Unfortunately many times that pledge is a hollow one if we don’t have the courage to confront the people we should care about, before things get way out of control.
At the Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we have coined the term “True Blue Valor™”
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 ofcourage and intervention.
As part of our Law Enforcement Survival Institution training we recommend that you consider the concept of True Blue Valor™. Most importantly, when you are talking about the team concept… Continue reading
John Marx along with three other speakers have been invited to present an eight hour program on Comprehensive Survival Skills at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) conference this April 11-16, 2011 in Chicago Illinois. This conference is huge, offering more than 150 courses (including more than two dozen instructor certification/armorer courses) with up to 20 sessions running simultaneously!
John Marx, Christian Dobratz, Lisa Wimberger and Dale Graff will present four two-hour blocks entitled:
“Tactical Wellness: To Serve with Valor, Protect Yourself Now” (Marx);
“The Cumulative Effects of Stress – Recognition, Intervention and Survival” (Dobratz);
“Emotional Survival and Stress Management” (Wimberger); and
“Optimizing Survival: Enhancing External and Internal Awareness” (Graff).
Please join us for what is going to be an eye-opening discussion on Law Enforcement Wellness and Career Survival.
John S. Marx, CPP is Executive Director of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute;
Lisa Wimberger is the CEO of Trance Personnel Consulting Group;
Christian Dobratz is a retired police officer and an Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University at Mankato;
Dale Graff is a Facilitator, author and former Director of the U.S. military’s Stargate Project.
In John’s Tactical Wellness for law Enforcement session he will show… Continue reading
I had an interesting opportunity this week to interview an expert on the subject of police stress reduction, which is an excellent followup to our articles on the problems of police suicide and the other toxic side effects of a career in law enforcement.
Professor Edward LeClair has been a criminal justice professional since1969. During the last 15 years, working with dozens of police departments in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Professor LeClair has researched, designed and implemented the Law Enforcement Officer Stress Reduction Program with unique training based upon gender and sexual assault investigators stress reduction.
The police training was the outgrowth of Professor LeClair’s unique training as an intern at the Mindful Based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts Worchester Medical Center, which was under the direction of John Kabat-Zinn, PhD; and the published medical research on the “Relaxation Response” by Herbert Benson, MD, from Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
As mentioned above Professor LeClair has found that the stress response is different for male officers and female police officers which is one of the things we talked about in our interview. Here are some things… Continue reading
CopsAlive was honored this week to be able to interview a police officer who attempted suicide and survived, and has maintained their career. This is critical to our discussion about wellness in law enforcement because we have a problem in our industry that we need to fix. Statistics indicate that somewhere between 2-6 times more officers kill themselves each year than are murdered in the line of duty. Police officer suicides are an issue that is long overdue for serious discussion within our profession.
It seems that the person who is best suited to describe this problem is someone who has been there, and lived through the depression leading up to a suicide attempt. Officer Kathleen Graves of the Seattle Police Department is just such a person, who after a lifetime of battling chronic pain, an addiction to pain killers, and bouts with depression, attempted to take her own life a little over a year ago. She created an elaborate plan to give away all of her worldly belongings, including her beloved dog, and even checked into a hotel room under an assumed name. She chose a hotel outside of her own jurisdiction to avoid traumatizing her peers, then she took a massive amount of pain killers. When she realized she hadn’t died, she took even more pills but was found by her rescuers before they could kill her. Her story is fascinating, and even more crucial for other officers to hear, because she was rescued, despite her own efforts to hide from her rescuers, and has been able to rebuild her life and her career. It is a remarkable story of tragedy and triumph. It is also a great starting point for an informed discussion about police officer suicides.
You can CLICK the play button here to listen to our 55 minute interview:
Or you can download the 10 MB mp3 file by using a RIGHT CLICK HERE to start the download (that’s CONTROL CLICK if you use a Mac then SAVE LINK AS…) of a copy of the mp3 file.
In our interview you will hear Officer Graves, a 14 year veteran, talk about her battles with chronic pain; her struggle with depression (a condition faced by many police veterans) and her feeling of burnout. She describes… Continue reading
Thanks to American Police Beat and the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association for putting the issue of police officer suicides on the “front page”. On the front page of their February 2011 edition, American Police Beat magazine features an article by Gary Delagnes the president of the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association entitled: “We need to talk about suicides”.
Police officer suicides are an issue that is long since overdue for serious discussion within our profession. We need active discussion, awareness training and action because If we don’t care about it, who will. We are leaving a legacy for our police families to deal with because we are too ignorant or afraid to handle the fact that more of our brothers and sisters are falling at their own hands than are being murdered in the line of duty. This is an issue that should be discussed in Command Staff meetings as much as in Roll Call sessions about the world. CLICK HERE for a copy of our Roll Call discussion guide.
Statistics indicate that somewhere between 2-6 times more officers kill themselves each year than are killed by the bad guys.
A quarter of female police officers and nearly as many male officers assigned to shift work had thought about taking their own lives, a study of police work patterns and stress has shown*.
What to Do?
We Need to Discuss This Topic Now. It should be a part of Roll Call Training and at every level of your organization. We should ask:
Did You Know Someone Who Committed Suicide?
Have You Ever Contemplated Suicide Yourself?
How Should We Help Someone We Think May Be Contemplating Suicide?
Editors Note: Chuck Rylant, a police officer from California who is also a Certified Financial Planner and a regular contributor on CopsAlive.com, gives us all a New Year’s Manifesto for a Perfect Life and shows us the process it takes to get there.
THE PERFECT LIFE MANIFESTO
Chuck J. Rylant
How you can achieve more this year than in the past 10 years combined
Every year around January 1st a lot of people will begin new years resolutions or do some sort of goal setting, but only about 3% of those people will actually achieve those new goals. Previously I wrote about goal setting from a different perspective, but in that article Brian Tracy found that only 3% of the population writes their goals down. And according to research, those 3% are 1000 time more likely to accomplish their goals.
But this isn’t just another story about writing your goals. There’s plenty of that advice out there already. Traditional goal setting usually involves a written list of the things you want to accomplish. This step alone, as mentioned above, has incredible power at helping you get things accomplished. But there is a better way.
“Most people aren’t really happy, but they aren’t unhappy enough to do any thing about it. That’s a dangerous place to be.” Tony Robbins
I’ve always been somewhat of a goal setter and usually do fairly well at accomplishing my goals. But when working with private clients, I’ve learned that it’s very hard for most people to accomplish their goals. So this led me to really study the subject of getting things done through goal setting. In researching and working with others, I realized that my informal goal setting wasn’t working as well as it could.
It wasn’t until 2008 that I took those goals that were bouncing around in my head and put them in some logical order on paper. As part of a leadership retreat, we were sent for two hours to sit overlooking the ocean and write our goals. With nothing to do for two hours but think, I figured out some amazing things about myself.
“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” Brian Tracy
The following two years I continued this process and expanded it by taking a couple of days each year and devoting them strictly to goal setting. Last year I went to a beach resort and while there, created the beginnings of the process I’m about to share. But it wasn’t until I read Leo Babauta’s blog post titled “the best goal is no goal” that I really put this whole thing together. My approach is very different than Leo’s, but what he said got me thinking.
The reason people don’t usually accomplish their goals is partially because… Continue reading
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