September is National Suicide Prevention Month and this week is Suicide Prevention Week. Let’s stem the tide of law enforcement officer suicides together. Watch for these signs and learn more from our partners at mantherapy.org
Man Therapy is a tongue-in-cheek website to get men and especially first-responders to talk about and deal with the traumas they face. Follow them on the Man Therapy Social Channels
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/ManTherapy and on Twitter – @DrRichMahogany
Do you have a suicide prevention program in your agency?
Well, you no longer have an excuse for not having a program. With a video produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Working Minds Program and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and our CopsAlive.com roll call discussion guide you can create a ready made program the moment you finish reading this page. Get all the resources you need for free at www.CopsAlive.com/SuicidePrevention
We should care about our mental health and the effects of PTSD because law enforcement is a high-risk, high-stress career that exposes all of us to excessive amounts of trauma and tragedy and we ALL need to learn that we can’t cope with all that negative stuff just by surprising it. Good mental health, like good physical health doesn’t come automatically, you have to work to build strength in both areas and taking care of your emotional Self is as important as taking care of your physical Self. When you do become injured physically or emotionally it helps if you understand the issues surrounding your injury and know about your treatment options. Learning about PTSD and other issues that can challenge your mental health can be as important as learning about physical conditions like back injuries and the preventative strategies that can help mitigate those injuries.
In their section on PTSD Basics, the National Center for PTSD operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says “After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
Albert Einstein once said “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Seems he was sure about human stupidity.
In light of recent events, it has become increasing difficult to argue against Einstein’s position. The human capacity for stupidity, especially when assessed through the observations of nearly incomprehensible human cruelty, certainly seems unlimited.
As a species, humans are an interesting lot. Collectively, we have developed sciences and created technologies that would have appeared magical just a century ago.
Modern medicine, space exploration, computer science, electronic communication, social media, and numerous other disciplines are reflective of advances that are unprecedented in the previous totality of human history. Our knowledge and accomplishments increase exponentially with every passing year. Maybe we are not so stupid after all.
But there is another side to the human equation. This side has less to do with science, technology, and achievement. This side has to… Continue reading
Editor’s Note: Joe is a faculty member of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and recently published this article on CalibrePress.com. We are honored that he is sharing it with us as well.
Nobody leaves police work the same person as when they entered it. Moreover, being a law enforcement officer can either be the best or worse job you’ve ever had.
Like the rest of you, I’ve watched with interest the latest assaults and criticisms of police officers. After reflecting back on 38 years of police work, it now seems public sentiment is supportive of those who are seeking to restrict the ability of many police officers to protect society. The general public has little or no concept of the experiences or emotions that police officers contend with throughout their careers.
Excellent memory skills can be critical to a law enforcement officer’s daily activities and yet most of us have never had any training to improve those skills. There are a lot of simple ways you can work with your team or a partner to improve your skills. Consider using Kim’s Game at your next roll-call training session as a simple way to build your memory and observation skills.
Use Kim’s Game To Improve Your Memory Skills
The name Kim’s game comes from Rudyard Kipling’s book called Kim published in 1901. “Kim” is the story of an Irish orphan who grew up in India. Kim was being trained to be a spy by the government’s intelligence agency. This spy training involved many things but one was a way of improving his memory. To do this the trainers showed Kim a tray of gems and other stones and he was allowed to memorize them for one minute. After the minute had elapsed they… Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE: This is a guest posting from Rev. Keith A. Evans who is a Police Chaplain with the Casper Police Department.
Experiencing a great quality of life involves a balance between your physical, your emotional and your spiritual selves. The well-used analogy of a “‘three-legged stool” can be used as a visual image of what happens when one or two legs of your physical-emotional-spiritual selves are not in balance, or maybe not even present. Many people usually give their physical self the majority of attention and the emotional self receives a very small minority of attention. Leaving, more often than not, the spiritual self totally abandoned and without any intentional nurturing.
As this triad of total holistic health becomes more balanced, each leg’s strength or sphere of influence begins to overlap the others. The greater the overlap, the stronger the triad and a person’s resilience to crisis and… Continue reading
National Partnership Launches Police Suicide Prevention Facilitation Guide
At its highest levels, the national law enforcement community acknowledges suicide prevention as a health and safety priority. In 2012 there were 126 documented suicides of police officers (versus 49 killed by gunfire in the line of duty). In 2013 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held a forum called “Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Office Suicide and Mental Health,” and in 2014 the IACP helped develop a video in partnership with the Carson J Spencer Foundation, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the American Association of Suicidology entitled Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement (access video here: https://youtu.be/fBJbo7mnnBs). In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, and as part of an expanded collaborative effort, the partnership is releasing a video facilitation training guide for law enforcement agencies. The guide can be downloaded as a free PDF here: http://carsonjspencer.org/files/9214/4078/2987/20150817_LE_Video_Guide.pdf
“As a law enforcement officer for 30 plus years, the last eight as chief, I recognize the value of sustained, comprehensive and coordinated suicide prevention efforts for… law enforcement agencies. These tools can provide departments with an important first step in opening discussions around the sensitive issue of suicide and mental health,” said Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey, member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Workplace Task Force. Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE: Law enforcement cannot function effectively without the support of the family members who stand behind our professionals, and our police families might be the best “early warning system” for when our officers are suffering in silence. This article was provided by guest contributor Dea Bridge who has been married to a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) for over 25 years, worked in Corrections, served as a volunteer Reserve Police Officer.
Law Enforcement is truly a family affair!
Society is routinely exposed to the mass media’s version of law enforcement via movies, cop shows, or news reports. These Hollywood depictions are the only frames of reference the general public has for how individuals in this line of work should behave or how they think. It’s no wonder many civilians (non-LEOs) have a skewed perception of the challenges faced by LEOs and their families. While some have a more tailored glimpse of “cop life” based on personal relationships or past experiences, the majority has no realistic basis for their interpretations. For simplicity sake in this article, Law Enforcement Officers will be collectively referred to as LEOs and also include Corrections Officers. It should be noted that agency support staff, Dispatchers in particular, and other types of emergency service workers (Firefighters, EMTs, and Paramedics) face many of the same challenges as LEOs. This grouping is not meant to minimize the trials faced by any one category, but rather to highlight the commonalities among people who strive to make our communities a better place to live.
Resources aimed at helping LEOs cope with the unique rigors of their professions are more abundant now than at any other time in history. To a lesser degree, but increasing, is information specifically designed to aid family member’s with their own set of challenges. Organizational attitudes of… Continue reading
Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to this profession of law enforcement.
There has been a lot of turmoil in the media about law enforcement lately, and much of it is based on lack of information, misinformation and ignorance. This is the perfect time for those in law enforcement to rededicate ourselves to our profession.
It’s easy for people to misunderstand issues about the police and law enforcement when they are uninformed and under educated. It’s our job to inform them.
The vast majority of the citizens in our communities support law enforcement and understand the complexities we face, but they are the quiet majority.
We must work with our community groups to properly educate them about law enforcement training and operations. Then when we need their support for more personnel, more equipment or more… Continue reading
During this season of sacred and religious holidays around the globe police officers everywhere need your prayers and support.
I attended a prayer vigil this morning outside Denver General Hospital in support of Denver Police Officer John Adsit. Officer Adsit, a nine year veteran of the department, along with three other Denver PD officers where injured while riding bicycle patrol to escort a group of Denver East High School students who wanted to protest the Grand Jury verdict on the police shooting in Ferguson Missouri that took the life of Michael Brown.
The four Denver officers were escorting a group of approx. 500 high school students who were marching down a busy Denver street in protest of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s acquittal of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. All four bike officers were hit by a vehicle that went out of control after the driver suffered a medical emergency. Three of the officers were treated and released from the hospital but Officer Adsit is still in critical condition over two weeks after being hit by the vehicle. He has undergone numerous surgeries and has been battling infection and pneumonia.
Please support the men and women of the Denver Police Department and the Adsit family as they pray for the quick recovery of Officer John Adsit.
I raise this issue for two reasons. First, this officer and his family need your prayers and secondly the citizens of the United States need to recognize that this officer was injured protected the rights of people who were protesting against the police. I’m sure when he recovers Officer Adsit would do it all over again. That’s because he is just one of hundreds of thousands of heroes that serve their communities around the world in the role of law enforcement… Continue reading
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