Thank You Kevin Gilmartin

esflebookcoverIn the United States it’s time to celebrate our holiday of Thanksgiving whose tradition has roots to a feast of thanksgiving for a good harvest in Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621, but now is utilized by many as a way to acknowledge all that we are grateful for in our modern lives.

By way of acknowledging what we in law enforcement should be grateful for, beyond the fact that we go home alive every day, I am, as you should be, truly grateful to Kevin Gilmartin, Ph.D. for all that he has done over the last several decades to bring to light all the issues about emotional survival in law enforcement. Without his lighting the path I don’t think any of us would be any closer to understanding what happens inside the psyche of this profession.

Gratitude should be an important concept in what we do today in law enforcement. If we seek it, we should be able to role-model it. Gratitude is an important building block of self-respect and community strength.

If you would like to consider what you are thankful for today CLICK HERE to download our CopsAlive Gratitude Worksheet.

Thanks are also due to Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR for bringing the concept of “CopShock” and PTSD to the forefront of our minds as well as to Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. for her loving and compassionate reminder that we are only as strong as the family that supports us in her book “I Love A Cop”.

Thanks are due to Joseph Wambaugh… and Pierce Brooks for showing the world the inside story of law enforcement long before it was so popular.

Thanks to Bobby Smith, Ph.D. and Michael Saxe for their diligent work on bringing forth the awareness and issues of disabled law enforcement officers in the United States.

Thanks to Bob Welsh for continuing to fan the Embers of our imaginations from your Storyteller’s Mind.

Thanks to Cary Friedman for enlightening us on the spiritual nature of law enforcement and teaching us about Spiritual Survival in Law Enforcement.

Thanks also to Samuel Feemster, M.Div., J.D. and Ginger Charles, Ph.D. for their tireless work in also bringing awareness to the spiritual sides of our profession.

Thanks to Jack Digliani, Ph.D., Ed.D., Tim Brown, LMFT and Jeff Shannon, LMFT and all the others that work to raise awareness about law enforcement mental health and emotional wellness issues

Thanks to Massad Ayoob, Jeff Cooper and Chuck Remsberg for all they have taught us about the proper use of firearms, deadly force and how to survive on the streets.

Thank you Fabrice Czarnecki, M.D. and all the other medical doctors who work with and for law enforcement. You are truly making us healthier.

Thanks to Bill Lewinski, Ph.D. and all others at Force Science Institute who work tirelessly to ensure our safety and survival.

Thank you John Violanti, Ph.D. and Douglas Paton, Ph.D. and all their many colleagues whose research into law enforcement issues has given us an excellent perspective that will help to guide the future of our profession.

Thank you Eric Potterat, Ph.D. for dedicating your talents and skills to help law enforcement professionals stay tactically resilient.

Thanks to Brian Vila, Ph.D. for his tireless work in researching the issues and consequences of police fatigue.

Thanks to Robert Douglas, Clarke and Tracie Paris, Julie Zielinski and Andy O’Hara for educating us all about the pain and suffering created by law enforcement suicides.

A big thank you goes to Suzie Sawyer and all the founding and current survivors for founding and maintaining Concerns of Police Survivors C.O.P.S. to support the surviving family members and affected co-workers of our fallen heroes.

Thank you Teresa Tate for founding Survivors of Law Enforcement Suicide S.O.L.E.S.

Thank you Sean Riley for founding Safe Call Now the crisis hotline for first responders and their families.

Thank you Robert Michaels for founding Serve Protect LE ministries and for all the work you do to bring services to those in law enforcement who need them.

Thanks to Bob “Coach” Lindsey for mentoring and encouraging me and hundreds of other law enforcement officers and trainers.

Thanks to Harvey Hedden, Brian Willis, Dave and Betsy Smith, Gary Klugiewicz, Duane Wolf, Mark St. Hilaire, Mark Sherwood, Jim Glennon, Jeff Chudwin, Dale Stockton, Travis Yates, Mike Wasilewski, Althea Olson, and all of the hundreds of members of ILEETA the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association for all they do to enhance law enforcement training and professionalism worldwide.

Thanks to Dave Grossman for his tireless work to make those in law enforcement and the military safer, more effective and more professional.

Thanks to Gordon Graham for raising our awareness of risk, liability and the importance of ethical decision making

Thanks to Chris Dobratz, Lisa Wimberger, Joe Padilla, Mary Kelly, Ph.D., Elaine Dumler and all the other faculty members of the Law Enforcement Survival Institute not otherwise mentioned here, and all the contributors to for all their work to strengthen and support law enforcement.

Thanks to all the law enforcement leaders and men and women of the FOP, IACP, NSA, FBI, DOJ, DEA, ATF, BJA, NLEOMF, IPA, NOVA and all the organizations and agencies that support and promote safe and effective law enforcement and the people that make that happen.

Thanks to all the patrol officers, sheriff’s deputies, corrections officers, SWAT cops, traffic officers, detectives, bike patrol officers, undercover cops, DARE officers, PIO’s, DA’s investigators, AG investigators, State Patrol officers, Highway Patrol officers, State investigators and even the Internal Affairs investigators for without you the world would be a scary and unhappy place.

Thanks to all the wildlife officers.
Thanks to all the parole officers.
Thanks to all the probation officers.
Thanks to all the law enforcement pilots and marine captains, mounted patrols, reserve officers, and law enforcement explorers.
Thanks to all the tribal police officers.
Thanks to all the forest rangers, park rangers, bureau of land management officers, game and fish, beach patrol, and other specialized units.

Thanks to all the federal law enforcement agents, Secret Service, Federal Police, Special Police, Capitol Police, ICE Agents, Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Marshals, DHS, DOD, DOE, DOI, DOL, DO military law enforcement officers in all branches of the service.

Thanks to all the police chaplains.
Thanks to all the CSI’s.
Thanks to all the victim’s advocates.
Thanks to all the police psychologists.
Thanks to all the dispatchers.
Thanks to all the records clerks.
Thanks to all the to all the supervisors.
Thanks to all the animal control officers.
Thanks to all the community service officers.
Thanks to all the secretaries.
Thanks to all the law enforcement volunteers.
Thanks to all the Constables, Mounties.

Thanks to Sir Robert Peele for starting us down the path of professional policing.

Thanks to all the men and women in law enforcement around the world and those that support you.

May all the blessings you deserve be with you and follow you as you go about your duties today and everyday. Thank you for your service!

If I’ve forgotten someone I apologize but please add a comment below and mention them.

CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions and suggest topics for us in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.

At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.

Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE

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 of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE

Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE

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 Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 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. Thank you for reading!

About Editor

John Marx was a Police Officer for twenty-three years and served as a Hostage Negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance initiative through the police department's Community Policing project. Today John combines his skills to consult with businesses about improving both their security and their customer service programs. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was devastated and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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  1. HI William,
    Thank you for your comments and thank you for the work you do at COP2COP. This is a team effort and we are all working toward the same ends: Healthy and Effective Law Enforcement Officers!

  2. Thanks to “COP’S ALIVE” and this Thanksgiving reminder.

  3. I too am grateful for Dr. Gilmartin and the practical advice he emparts and I am thankful for my profession as a counselor, providing me the opportunity to assist Cops in distress.

  4. The title grabbed my attention. Kevin Gilmartin is especially a shot in the arm for Law Enforcement. I have purchased his book 3 or 4 times but cannot keep a copy on hand. (I lend it out, but it does not return.) A psychologist whom I use and appreciate hands out a copy to almost every client.
    This certainly is a time to be grateful and dedicating your article to Dr. Gilmartin was “spot on”.
    Personally, I am grateful for my profession as a counselor and the opportunity to assist other NJ Law Enforcement officers through our COP2COP program.

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