I met Chuck Wright at the Springbrook Law Enforcement Wellness Summit a couple of months back and was very impressed by the vast amount of wisdom and experience he had accumulated in a law enforcement career that spanned over 30 years and is continuing today as he works with the first responder hotline “Safe Call Now“. I wanted you to share in some of that wisdom so I conducted a telephone interview with Chuck and was completely impressed with the quality of the stress management tips he had to offer other law enforcement officers.
In our interview Chuck, a 30 year veteran of law enforcement who served as both a parole and probation officer for the State of Washington and who is also a licensed mental health professional, told me about his background and also the challenges he faced during his career. He started as a probation/parole officer and early in his career became a licensed mental health professional. He began working with sexual and violent offenders and eventually worked with over 10,000 of them. He has also become an expert in working with law enforcement officers who have to cope with the stress of working with the worst of the worst offenders. Because of his expertise in this and other areas of mental health, he was chosen to work on the Task Force to find the Green River Serial Killer Gary Ridgeway. After Ridgeway’s arrest in 2001, nearly 20 years after the first murder, he confessed to 48 murders, more confirmed murders than any other serial killer in American history.
Because of this work Chuck was asked to address the FBI Academy about issues surrounding the stress effects to investigators working… Continue reading
Chris Dobratz has had to deal with both. In our CopsAlive interview with former Police Detective Sergeant Christian Dobratz, an 18 year veteran of law enforcement, who was forced to retire on a disability we discuss how he successfully navigated a severe case of PTSD and then went on to a forced disability retirement because of an old back injury. He is now an Assistant Professor of Law Enforcement, Department of Government at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Chris and a very diverse career with work at both the county sheriff level and within a municipal police department. In his career he worked as a deputy sheriff, a patrol officer, detective, worked on a drug task force, and medically retired as a police sergeant. During his career he battled a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder… Continue reading
Earlier today I sat in on an excellent webcast put on by the National Concerns of Police Survivors organization on “Survivor Guilt and It’s Effect on Coworkers”. The presenters: Kirk Clark and Linda Moon Gregory did an excellent job with a very difficult subject. I encourage you to page down in this article to find a link to the replay of their broadcast.
Kirk Clark retired from the Jacksonville (Fla.) Police Department after an undercover drug operation left his partner dead and him with multiple gunshot wounds. Clark returned from the brink with the help of COPS, for which he now serves as president for the northeast Florida chapter. He is the recipient of the Purple Heart from… Continue reading
Please remember CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence.
We do this by Helping Law Enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond. We think the best strategy is for each officer to create a tactical plan for their own life and career.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) works with individuals and organizations to help them create and sustain success in their lives and careers as law enforcement professionals. It is the primary goal of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute to become the preeminent source for training, resources and information about how to create and sustain a happy, healthy and successful life and career while providing superior law enforcement service to your community.
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
I recently had a chance to travel through Europe and Northern Africa and speak with police officers in eight different countries. One thing that I encountered was a language barrier and some mistrust and perhaps misunderstanding that we are all connected by a profession that in one of the most challenging on earth.
Because of this we will be translating this short article into 11 other languages in order to gather more officers input from around the world. Then in future articles we will attempt to address the issues you tell us are most important to you.
One thing we have learned is that Police officers themselves must discuss the health issues that challenge… 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?