Do you want to start or enhance a police wellness program in your small law enforcement agency?
What do you say when the public and media ask: how do police officers stay healthy and fit for the job?
Small law enforcement agencies deserve the best possible wellness initiatives to keep their people physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit.
For small agencies, usually with less than twenty-five employees, paying for training, both in time and money, can be daunting. It’s hard to get everyone together for a class and then sometimes that information is lost without regular reinforcement.
What would you say if I told you that for less than $300 you can harness the makings of a full wellness system and get started immediately. The scheduling, implementation and reinforcement are totally within your control and it will create the foundation for a life-long learning experience for your people.
In May we published an article written by Carolyn Whiting the co-author of “The Crazy Lives of Police Wives” and I asked her if she would sit down and speak with CopsAlive.com about the book and her experiences as a former police officer and police wife.
Carolyn Whiting was a police officer for six years and she met Bob, her husband of twenty five years, while working in the same Police department. Carolyn retired due to a back injury and has been a housewife for the past twenty two years while her husband continues to work at the same department where they met. He has over thirty six years in law enforcement. Carolyn has a BA in Geography and was halfway through her MBA when she left graduate school to pursue her life-long dream of being a Police Officer, a decision she has not regretted.
The book is available at Amazon.com in both a paperback and Kindle version as well as at Barnes & Noble in paperback and for the nook.
Carolyn told me that the idea for the book came about after a discussion she had 3 or 4 years ago with… Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE:The following article was submitted by Carolyn Whiting co-author of the new book: The Crazy Lives of Police Wives. This is a book written for and by police wives. Please support them!
You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. That goes for people as well as machines. PTSD, suicide, alcoholism and domestic violence are all indicators of broken/hurt people that may go unrecognized. How can you fix the person who is hurting if he can’t be reached or he doesn’t understand that he needs help? There are too many stories about yet another police officer killing himself or another police family battling alcoholism behind the closed doors of their home, in secrecy and shame. It doesn’t have to be that way. Think of the lives that might be changed if only these hurting families knew about the myriad of resources available and the many groups with knowledge and experience waiting in the wings, eager to help. The Crazy Lives of Police Wives is a new book written for and by police wives that broaches these painful… Continue reading
Today is PTSD Awareness Day in the United States. Please visit the website for the National Center for PTSD to learn more about this terrible disorder that affects many law enforcement officers around the world.
“Heroes Behind the Badge” is a new documentary film being created to honor America’s heroes in law enforcement. This inspiring documentary will change the way we look at the men and women of law enforcement and highlight the unselfish acts of bravery… Continue reading
Do you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? It’s alarming how many people in law enforcement may be suffering with it. I know that when I took a PTSD indicator survey two years after I retired I scored a lot higher than I had expected. I’ve read lots of conflicting statistics about how many police officers have or could have the symptoms of PTSD, but statistics can be misleading just as much as ignorance of the issues of mental wellness. Some of you may not meet the criteria for the diagnosis but are still suffering from the effects of excessive or un-managed stress.
The important question is how many of us in law enforcement have the symptoms of PTSD or other types of distress and those symptoms are causing problems with our work or home life. More importantly how many of us are not working to manage these problems because of fear of losing a job or being rejected as weak by our peers.
The other night, my wife and I were enjoying our dinner together at home. We were discussing the results of a study that was recently published that confirmed a link between fast food and depression. As we interacted about the subject, my wife who has been my best helper and supporter during my 25+ years in law enforcement, and who has been researching wellness issues in the public safety profession made this statement:
“It is a vicious cycle, when people are depressed they don’t have… Continue reading
Our mission at Cops Alive is “Saving the lives of the people who save lives.” I’ve shared many times about the many hidden dangers of law enforcement. We’re reminded of the 73 officers murdered each year, but we rarely acknowledge the 400 plus officers who take their own lives each year by suicide.
The list of stressors that lead cops to commit suicide is long, but one that certainly plagues a great number of us is stress and worry about money. Financial mismanagement does not always lead to suicide, but it’s definitely a contributor.
We train hard and allocate resources to shooting and unarmed tactics, yet ignore the more probable risk factors like alcohol abuse, marital problems and personal finance issues. Stress at home distracts cops from doing their job effectively, opening them up to greater risks on the streets.
We ought to use the same strategies to manage the hidden risks that we do to plan tactical situations. For example, imagine how… Continue reading
Many of my peers have an annual ritual of poking fun at me in the late fall when I break out the “light” long johns or undergarments as they are referred to today. Many of the younger and inexperienced officers give me a grin when I explain the benefits of dressing appropriately when we are on duty outside or in the cruiser. They learn the hard way like I did years ago. Many sections of our town have open spaces along the roadways and state highway which comes though and nothing is more of an attention getter than freezing your tail off while working a vehicle crash, backing up another L.E.O. and other duties and you are exposed to the elements and the wind.
When you dress for duty, do you dress for the outdoors?
What if you get stuck in a situation you are outdoors like a crowd control situation, a building fire, a traffic control post, chasing a suspect or looking for a lost person?
Dressing for duty is vital for your health and well-being. Along with our ballistic vest and the issued equipment that we must wear, please consider wearing… Continue reading
As we finish the first couple of months of the New Year, many of us are adjusting to our committed changes we have made for a healthier 2012.
One area which can make a huge difference in our wellness program is our eating when on duty.
• Do you have a plan for your meals at work?
• Do you succumb to the quick and easy fix of fast food or easy to grab snack foods when we are ravenous?
• Do you constantly pick at food that people offer?
I used to be one of the officers who would spend quite a bit of money on junk food and eating crap while on duty. I felt like crap and it was no secret as I weighed over 350 pounds trying to do this job. My body ached, my demeanor was not nice and I was miserable. I was fortunate many years ago when I slowly decided to change the way I was eating and start exercising. I indicated several weeks ago, I am in the best shape of my life today as I slowly approach the age of 50.
A great part of my success keeping the weight off has been planning out my meals when I have to work. It sounds complicated but it is simple when… Continue reading
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