On New Year’s Day, I received a telephone call from a good friend who is one of New York’s Finest. I will refer to him as Officer X to protect his anonymity.
Officer X wanted to talk for a while. The N.Y.P.D. recently lost a well-known police officer Peter Figoski who was murdered on duty in December. The news broke on Saturday that A.T.F. Special Agent, John Capano died while stopping a pharmacy robbery on Long Island, N.Y. Officer X was really down and frustrated with the public. His frustration was people do not respect the police or the military like they used to. The increase in violence against cops over the last several years is really starting to hit home for Officer X. Add in the fact he is approaching the 10 year point as a cop, he works the day in-day out daily grind, the tragic events and people he… Continue reading
There have been too many stories in the news lately of cops gone bad. Let’s create a better system to support and help them before this happens again.
Make a two-fold “True Blue” commitment in 2012. One is to work diligently to reduce the number of officers killed in the line of duty, and secondly, to work to save the many officers that are suffering emotionally and faltering professionally. Here is an excellent resource: The Safe Call Now hotline for first responders. Let’s also Protect and Serve our own this year!
Memorize it and post it wherever you can: Safe Call Now206-459-3020
Learn more from this KIRO TV Ch7 Story. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you… Continue reading
The Problems with Police PTSD – A Call for Comments
Editors Note: This is a very important topic to law enforcement officers all around the world. Please leave your comments in the box below so we can start a dialogue on this very important issue.
We have a Police PTSD Crisis: “Take care of our own” v.s. “Throwaway Cops”
We have a problem in our profession. It has to do with excessive stress caused by the job of law enforcement and, in it’s extreme form, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. We all know that the stress from this job can be toxic and at times debilitating. What we don’t seem to believe is that it can happen to us, or someone we work with, because when it does, we don’t know what to do about it. We seem to have created a paradox, which is a contradiction or a situation that seems to defy logic or intuition.
Stress and all the physiological impacts it has upon a law enforcement officer’s body and mind are a major contributing factor to many of the ills that befall police officers and other law enforcement professionals. Even though this article is written using the term police officer, it isn’t meant to exclude other law enforcement professionals like deputy sheriffs, corrections officers, parole officers, probation officers, DA’s investigators, dispatchers, CSI’s, code enforcement officers, wildlife officers, park rangers, etc. The problems of stress seem inherent in the law enforcement profession in general and no one seems immune to its toxic effects.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute offers a prescription for law enforcement stress management called “Rx3x”. The prescription (Rx) is for stress management activities three times (3x) a day. The Rx3x process calls for a combination of mind and body exercises to reduce and manage excessive stress on days when a law enforcement officer or other professional is working. The process calls for:
1. A Physical Fitness Workout of 30-45 min each day focused upon building strength and aerobic fitness;
2. A Buffer Workout for Stress Reduction (20-30 min) between the work and home transition; and
3. A Stress Management Session (20-30 min) later in the day focused upon reducing mental stress.
For five years now CopsAlive.com has been promoting the concept of building a business on the internet, as opposed to moonlighting or working a second job, as an alternative for law enforcement officers to earn extra income. Each year in January we host a group of police officers as part of a larger group of internet marketing experts on a cruise through the Caribbean Sea. We are doing so again this coming January but haven’t really done much to promote it. We enjoy learning from all the others on the trip but we also like visiting the ports and enjoying the fun in the sun too, so we didn’t really promote next year’s cruise. However, they are making their last call for reservations so we decided to mention it once more to see if any of you want to join us. In addition to joining some fellow law enforcement officers you can choose to be part of an 8-day mastermind and networking vacation that brings together hundreds of the brightest internet marketing minds on the planet!
In the past, world class thought-leaders like Robert Allen, Rich Scheferen, Matt Bacak, Kevin Wilke,Howie Schwartz, Brad Fallon and many other top names have joined Mike Filsaime, me and my friends for this adventure of a lifetime that happens every January.
This is YOUR invitation to join the elite VIP Guest List for our upcoming cruise that is already 80% booked with more than 300 amazing… Continue reading
Galls, The Authority in Public Safety Equipment and Apparel has named CopsAlive.com one of the “7 Must Read Law Enforcement Blogs”.
They have said that “Across the internet, there are a tremendous amount of Law Enforcement Blogs that focus on a wide variety of general and specific topics. Each blog has a different viewpoint and a different voice. And while the purpose of each blog is distinct, most are informative as well as entertaining. At Galls, we believe that fostering communication and sharing information help make law enforcement agencies – and the people who make up those agencies – better able to protect the communities that they serve.
CLICK HERE to see the 7 law enforcement blogs that we’ve discovered lately. We’ve enjoyed them and think each one has great value. We’d like to share them with you.”
CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues we cover on this blog site. We invite you to share your opinions in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.
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 will help your agency create the kind of place that supports and protects officers so that they can do their jobs better, safer, longer and survive to tell their grand kids all about it.
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. We call this Tactical Wellness planning.
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 law enforcement 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.
At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement. We provide stress management and stress reduction training as well as Tactical Wellness training for police officers and other law enforcement professionals.
CLICK HERE to read more about The Law Enforcement Survival Institute.
CLICK HERE if you would like to contact us to learn more about training for your organization.
I’m John Marx Founder of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and the Editor of CopsAlive.com, connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Editors Note: This is a guest article written by Anne Bisek, Psy.D. about the activities of the West Coast Posttrauma Retreat. They are trying to learn more about PTSD and how it affects law enforcement officers and other first responders. Please help them out by taking their online survey and maybe referring someone you know to them for assistance.
Pedro sat in front of his computer, when Jay snuck up from behind him with a can of jalapeño flavored jelly beans.
“What the –?” Pedro gasped.
Jay laughed. “You gotta try one of these. Hey, what are you doing? That looks like Survey Monkey.”
Pedro grabbed the jar away from his colleague, a veteran of the police department for 9 years. “You are going to hurt someone with that.”
Inside, Pedro breathed a sigh of relief. This was the first halfhearted attempt at a practical joke he had seen from his friend in months. Since the last SIDS call, Jay had lost his usual spunk, and was less interested in the banter at the office.
“So you have PTSD?” Jay asked hesitantly.
“That is not the point. WCPR needs a lot of cops to fill this out because what is normal to us isn’t normal to the general population. The measure will also be able to… Continue reading
Today is National PTSD Awareness Day in the United States and should be a call to action for law enforcement to begin discussions about PTSD within our organizations, and begin the processes needed to manage and treat this disorder which plagues so many within our ranks.
Many law enforcement officers, many members of the armed forces, women and children who have been victimized and many many other people around the country and the world suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and we… Continue reading
What is the most frightening thing a police officer will ever face?
What takes more courage to confront than any other single thing in law enforcement?
What is the one thing that we have pledged above all to our brothers and sisters in law enforcement?
The answer to all three of these questions is the same: “Taking care of our own” and more specifically: 1) confronting a peer who is losing control of their life or their career, and working to get them some help; 2) Having the strength to maintain the “thin blue line” and rescue a co-worker who is battling alcoholism, depression, drug addiction, or suicidal thoughts; and finally 3) “Never Leaving Anyone Behind” because if we don’t take care of our own, who will? Unfortunately many times that pledge is a hollow one if we don’t have the courage to confront the people we should care about, before things get way out of control.
At the Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we have coined the term “True Blue Valor™”
The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally, and personally, and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept ofcourage and intervention.
As part of our Law Enforcement Survival Institution training we recommend that you consider the concept of True Blue Valor™. Most importantly, when you are talking about the team concept… Continue reading
I had an interesting opportunity this week to interview an expert on the subject of police stress reduction, which is an excellent followup to our articles on the problems of police suicide and the other toxic side effects of a career in law enforcement.
Professor Edward LeClair has been a criminal justice professional since1969. During the last 15 years, working with dozens of police departments in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Professor LeClair has researched, designed and implemented the Law Enforcement Officer Stress Reduction Program with unique training based upon gender and sexual assault investigators stress reduction.
The police training was the outgrowth of Professor LeClair’s unique training as an intern at the Mindful Based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts Worchester Medical Center, which was under the direction of John Kabat-Zinn, PhD; and the published medical research on the “Relaxation Response” by Herbert Benson, MD, from Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
As mentioned above Professor LeClair has found that the stress response is different for male officers and female police officers which is one of the things we talked about in our interview. Here are some things… Continue reading
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