I had a chance to travel to Portland Oregon last month where I was privileged to be part of a summit of experts on police wellness issues that was hosted by the Hazelden Springbrook Treatment Center. Hazelden’s Springbrook campus, located 25 miles outside of Portland in Newberg, Oregon, provides adults ages 18 and over with a comprehensive range of clinical services to treat addiction.
Gathering for the summit were representatives from NYPD, Chicago PD, the San Diego Sheriff’s Office, and Seattle PD along with representatives from Safe Call Now, CopsAlive and former Police Commander… Continue reading
I recently had a chance to interview Sgt. Clarke Paris of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department about his work to reduce police suicides and help police officers deal with the stresses of their jobs.
“The Pain Behind The Badge” is a one-hour documentary film about Police Suicide created and produced by Clarke Paris in conjunction with 100 Watt Productions.
The hour long film was the winner for Best Documentary Film in 2009 at the Las Vegas International Film Festival and won Honorable Mention at the 2008 Accolade Film Festival features three real police officers from different agencies who share with the viewers their battles with job-related stress, marriage, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Two of these officers explain… Continue reading
Hello everyone, it’s Lisa Wimberger from TPCG, and I wanted to share this post I read on a professional database, and found to be insightful, direct, and a much needed inside-perspective on the topic of stress management. Jeff was gracious enough to give me permission to reprint his blog post with my readers and now I’m sharing it with you as the readers of CopsAlive.
“Let me begin with a disclaimer. Unlike many of my readers, I AM NOT a mental health professional, or for that matter uniquely qualified to provide specific advice regarding such matters. I AM a public safety professional with first hand experience dealing with individuals who were experiencing burnout.
Besides working as an advisor to private businesses, I work in a sworn capacity, for a police agency in Southern California. The agency I work for has just over 100 sworn employees. During the time I have worked there, my co-workers and I have experienced fellow employee suicides, on-duty deaths, deaths of officer’s children, deaths of officer’s spouses and other family members, several officer involved shootings, as well as a myriad of other stressors. Continue reading
The CopsAlive Total Wellness Project is a community effort to ensure the wellness of police officers around the world by gathering tips, suggestions, stories, strategies and resources from law enforcement officers to help other cops survive this career.
We are planning on creating a special report on how to create total wellness for police officers and protect ourselves from all the threats that affect us in or following a law enforcement career.
CopsAlive.com was created to help law enforcement officers successfully navigate their careers and build happy, healthy lives. We believe that law enforcement is the most noble of professions and acknowledge that many people working in law enforcement make sacrifices everyday to make our communities safer and happier. We believe that those professionals in law enforcement also deserve to be happy, healthy and successful and we intend to help them plan for that by collecting and disseminating information that will help them have better careers and better lives. We accomplish this by establishing a running commentary on the Internet through the use of a web log or Blog. We create interactive discussions and stimulate action around the hidden dangers facing the police. We use survey instruments online, and in person, to discover the beliefs of our industry and we tailor information strategies and tools for them from this information. If you believe in this mission and have something to contribute we would welcome it.
We are looking for stories, examples and strategies that will re-enforce a sense of total wellness and protect us from all the threats that confront a policing professional in or following a career in law enforcement.
The final product a “Special Report” will be distributed free to police officers and other law enforcement professionals around the world.
Everyone who contributes to the report will automatically receive… Continue reading
There seems to have been a rash of police officers arrested lately and I wonder what we as a profession are going to do about it.
We talk about the effects of stress on the job a lot here at CopsAlive.com and we talk about police officer suicide, alcohol abuse, divorce, domestic violence but this is one of the side effects that we don’t talk about too often. Is this representative of a few “bad apples” or is it a bigger issue of officers not being able to handle the stresses of the job. Does that mean we picked the wrong people for the job or did the job get to these men who were basically good people?
Teams of LE field professionals conducted hundreds of interviews prior to creating the US Department of Justice’s 222 page proposal to create Law Enforcement Stress Management Training in 1996. The results can by synopsized as follows: EAP services, CI training, and city/county-wide services are necessary, but not enough. The government’s top noted benefits of a preventative stress management program are:
• to provide a confidential, specialized approach to treating and reducing stress for officers and their families, and to improve their ability to cope with stress on their own (most officers do not trust–or use–city or county programs)
• to increase officer morale and productivity
• to increase the agency’s overall efficiency and effectiveness Continue reading
Here we tell the story of Chris Prochut (pronounced “Pro-Hut”) who was a Commander for the Bolingbrook Police Department at the height of the Drew Peterson investigation, who nearly lost his life, but instead lost his career. Watch this Fox News video then Page down to listen to our interview with Chris.
From age 10, Chris Prochut knew he wanted to be a police officer.
Upon graduation from High School in 1991, he was hired as a part-time animal control officer for the Bolingbrook Police Department.
He advanced to full-time status as a Police Cadet in 1993.
In 1995, Chris was selected to serve the Village of Bolingbrook as a 911 Police & Fire Dispatcher.
After graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Chris was hired as a Bolingbrook Police Officer in April 1996.
In August 2002, Chris was promoted to the rank of Sergeant where he supervised the C.O.P.S. (where he had worked) Unit, Animal Control, and Code Enforcement Unit.
He attended the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in January 2005 where he was chosen as Class President and was selected to receive the Kreml Leadership Award… Continue reading
I had a chance to interview three people who are involved in the Evansville Indiana Police Department’s Peer Support and Family Support Groups. I spoke with Police Chief Brad Hill, Sgt. Dave Barron and his wife Lori Barron in what proved to be a very informative interview.
Sergeant Barron was involved in a fatal shooting in 2003 and was then instrumental in the creation of the the department’s Peer Support Team. Because of what happened to her husband and it’s effects on her and other members of their family Lori, who is a cardiac rehab nurse, was involved in starting the Family Support Group for their Police Department. Chief Brad Hill, a 29-year veteran of the Evansville Police Department, was sworn in to office as chief in January 2004 and has been instrumental in the development of both teams through his support and leadership.
If you are considering starting either or both of these kinds of groups for your department you might ask yourself:
How does your department support officers involved in a shooting?
What about other traumatic events like the injury of an officer or their partner, how do you support them then?
How do you handle the effects of major natural disasters or mass injury accidents on the members of your department?
Do you provide support to officers who have handled cases of injured or murdered children?
What about the family of those officers involved in any of the events mentioned above?
As the founder and CEO of Trance Personnel Consulting Group (TPCG) I am proud to be working with CopsAlive.com to help police officers and other law enforcement professionals learn to cope with the stress that you endure on a day to day basis.
TPCG has chosen a field thick with stress, trauma, denial, depression, overwhelming cynicism, abuse and suicide. Providing stress management and emotional survival tools to law enforcement agencies is not something that I take lightly. Never before have we encountered a group of people so steeped in all the many realms of societal dysfunction. These men and women are asked and expected to deal with worst case scenarios on a daily basis while many of us sip our morning coffee, contemplate our day, or tuck our children in at night. Of course there are other trauma-centric professions… Continue reading
I had a chance to interview Lisa Wimberger of Trance Personnel Consulting Group the other day about stress and stress management for police officers and it was a fascinating discussion.
Lisa works on a national level with law enforcement officers suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, both at the agency and individual police officer levels. Lisa’s ability to bring tools to law enforcement agencies offers a proactive solution to stress management and crisis intervention. She provides techniques that are a simple pathway to a healthier police officer and their law enforcement organization as well.