I had the privilege to attend an excellent seminar last week hosted by the Denver Police Department on “Spirituality, Wellness & Vitality Issues in Law Enforcement Practices”. Our presenters were FBI Supervisory Special Agent Samuel L. Feemster, J.D. and Sergeant Ginger L. Charles, Ph.D. of the Arvada Police Department. They asked some interesting questions and offered some unique perspectives on modern law enforcement practices. Some examples include: “Is Law Enforcement a calling for you?” and “What courses were you trained in at the police academy?”, then “What courses should you have been trained in at the academy?”
This seminar was not about just religion but about any spiritual influence that gives police officers the kind of character that allows them to endure the toxic nature of police work and maintain their sanity over the years of a demanding police career. There was information presented that many, many more officers die from suicide, cancer and heart attacks than ever are killed in the line of duty and we discussed what leads police officers, true leaders of our communities, to chose suicide over life.
The question was asked how do you become a well rounded police officer?
As part of our continuing search for the “hidden dangers” of police work, CopsAlive.com examines the issues surrounding shift work, stress and the importance of proper sleep to keep police officers rested and ready for the job.
According to a large British study released in September of 2007 and reported by Reuters “People who do not get enough sleep are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease, Although the reasons are unclear, researchers said lack of sleep appeared to be linked to increased blood pressure, which is known to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke. A 17-year analysis of 10,000 government workers… Continue reading
CopsAlive was founded to help police officers, sheriffs deputies and other law enforcement professionals survive their career and be able to live happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond.
We know that there are a lot of challenges between you and that successful life and we also know that there isn’t a lot of research to answer some of the major questions about the hidden dangers of police work and why cops have a higher incidence of cancer, divorce, stress related issues, alcoholism etc than the general population. Until we are able to fund our own research we have to start somewhere and that is with all of you in the profession. At least CopsAlive can survey the opinions of policing professionals and determine where more long term research needs to be conducted. To that end we are asking you to participate in one of our anonymous surveys.
Currently CopsAlive has four surveys in the field. They are:
CopsAlive Mixed Topic Opinion Survey – CLICK HERE to take this survey
This survey asks questions about your opinions of the job and the risks inheirent within our profession.
CopsAlive Perfect Retirement Survey – CLICK HERE to take this survey
This survey asks questions about your vision of your retirement and obstacles between you and a perfect retirement.
Personal Threat Assessment Survey – CLICK HERE to take this survey
This survey asks questions about what threats you perceive to your life and career.
CopsAlive Online Networking Survey – CLICK HERE to take this survey
This quick survey asks about how you communicate so we as law enforcement professionals can find better ways to stay in touch and communicate most effectively.
These are all short and quick surveys to take and will not waste your time. We will publish the findings of each on CopsAlive once we have established a broad enough bases for the survey.
We will also add new surveys as the need arises so please check the SURVEYS Tab on the CopsAlive main page.
As editor of CopsAlive.com I just finished attending the 3-day “Traumas of Law Enforcement” seminar put on by the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) organization, and despite the depressing nature of what is happening to our profession I left with a sense of hope that there are so many dedicated people out there making things better for those who come after them. If you are interested in this seminar after reading this blog there are still two more sessions of this valuable program still to be presented this month but you must act fast by visiting the C.O.P.S. website to learn about locations and dates. There is no registration fee for these programs but registration is MANDATORY! In our session we had over 110 attendees from around the United States with a variety of sworn and non-sworn personnel including supervisors, chaplains dispatchers and peer support team members. Continue reading
Today’s date 08/08/08 apparently has so much power as a lucky number that the Chinese Olympic Committee actually picked today as the date of the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympic Games with a starting time of 8:08:08 PM!
That sure describes our policing profession doesn’t it? How many of you really got into law enforcement just for the fun of it? I know, I know, you told the interview panel that all you really wanted to do was to “help people”, and when you became a cop, you did but admit it, you were looking for fun.
The big question might be “Is it still fun?” Did all the fun and excitement that got you into police work linger or has it passed? Are the thrills still there or are you having to create then now? Most importantly, what do you do for fun and relaxation off the job?
With stress probably being the culprit behind most police officer deaths, certainly after retirement, what are you doing to minimize that stress now and how are you relaxing? Also of importance is how healthy is your means of having fun? Continue reading
As a working cop have you thought about when you are going to retire? Maybe you have a fixed police retirement date that’s not within your control or maybe you can plan your own date but haven’t even started to plan for it yet. Maybe you are like many other police officers in that you feel that you will never be able to retire and that they will find you withering away in your patrol car at age 95.
I’d like to ask you to consider another factor and that is how long can you stay successful in the job? How long can you tolerate the stress and demands of the job and still perform it at a level that you know is acceptable? I don’t think the financial planning aspect and the personal health planning aspect of this decision need to be or even should be separate. Continue reading
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