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

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

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

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

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

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

Fitness Monday – The Power of Inspiration

tour-de-france-logoWhat inspires you to achieve more in your life, your career or with your level of fitness?

This 4th of July holiday provided great opportunities for family, fun, food and showing my siblings who’s boss. OK, actually I overate at a family BBQ, chased kiddo down at a Veteran’s celebration in the park, and blamed the mysterious disappearance of about 6 homemade brownies on my youngest niece. Yes, I was out of character but we all need a break sometimes.

As for exercise, it was another great week to include running, walking and cycling. Despite a month-long pinched nerve I call “getting older,” I found relief in the regular yoga class.

This regular training is also helping tolerate the heat, as our traditional dark navy uniforms offer little respite from south Louisiana’s sun.

Most fun this week has been the long evening walks with my kiddo, and his inspiration to bike ride after an afternoon of watching the Tour de France. I encourage you to… Continue reading

Build Your Relationship with a Road Trip

There’s nothing like a good road trip for chatting while traveling to build and strengthen your personal relationships.

As we approach the July 4th holiday and it’s weekend I’m reminded of my experiences over Memorial Day weekend, which was the start of the summer time vacation season here in New England. My bride and I went on a road trip to the Hudson Valley in New York State that weekend. I know…I know you’re thinking: Sarge, how did you… Continue reading