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As you well know, there’s tremendous negative emotional fallout that often accompanies the job of law enforcement officer. Daily interaction with a broken world full of mad, bad, and sad people who lie, exploit others and display unimaginable cruelty toward their fellow man can take its toll ... Cynicism, the demands of constant vigilance, coping with trauma, the loss of spontaneity/ proactivity, physical and financial stress, shift work, internal departmental pressures and lost holidays/ missed children's events can exact a price on officers and their families.
The last available statistics speak for themselves: In 2016, 63 officers died from felonious gunfire (up 56% from the previous year) whereas 108 committed suicide... That’s 1.7X as many officers taking their own lives! It’s estimated that 15 - 18 percent of working police officers in the US are having undiagnosed symptoms of PTSD and law enforcement marriages fail at an alarming rate. Depression, suicide, sleep loss, the use of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit sexual relationships won’t fix it.
There’s much you can do as a department to help! Utilizing a proactive emotional enrichment program, you can make a tremendous difference in offsetting these negative forces. Employing key elements such as engaging/ training new officers and their spouses/ significant others (SO) at the beginning of their careers, working to equip veteran spouses/SO as they support their LE loved one throughout their career, providing an engaged peer and chaplain support network to assist officers during critical incidents, and assisting officers as they make the difficult transition from active duty to retirement can yield tremendous results.
Topics addressed include:
1. A Fresh Reminder of Why We Do What We Do We live in the greatest experiment in civil liberty in the history of the world. It’s all predicated on a concept called self-government. However, not everyone wants to govern themselves and that’s where you come in. This session will paint a fresh picture of why you do what you do and infuse in you a fresh vision for the sacred calling of being a cop.
2. Ethics, THE Foundation for Success The word integrity is plastered all over our websites, business cards and challenge coins but what does it really mean in a practical warrior sense .... everything! This class will revisit ethics and their practical importance in the profession. Buckle up as you will be challenged to revisit the importance of the subject.
3. Cynicism, Hyper-vigilance and The Stages of Law Enforcement The reality is, your job is to look for those doing what’s wrong. The reality is that any one of them could be THAT call that has the potential to keep you from going home. Vigilance demands that you do not let that happen. If you’re not careful, those healthy expressions of officer safety turn into “They’re all a bunch of A%$holes.” Tired of stupid people tricks, you go hope wiped ...not wanting to do anything. What you can do about it.
4. Your Loved One is Not Your Dispatcher
Dispatched to calls, held over for reports, subpoenaed to court, called in for training, called out for specialty units... You’re conditioned to react day after day... and you wonder why it’s hard to proactively lead your family. Recommendations for taking ownership of your home life.
5. Shiftwork Challenges Whether it’s working on afternoons where you get no time with your family or walking around never fully rested, never fully awake working midnights... Shiftwork has its challenges. We’ll explore proven ways of mitigating the impact of shift work on your personal and home life.
6. Stress and Avoiding Debt Traps Eustress vs. distress... Stress-related spending... Living off your base pay and failure to live within your means... We’ll discuss them all. We’ll share ways of reducing stress as well as ways of expanding your coping range.
7. The Profession’s Number One Frustration Survey says... Bad leadership. “I can handle the crazies outside the department ... it’s the ones inside that eat my lunch.” We’ll show how bad leaders can teach you things that good leaders can’t as well as review leadership principles that empower LE organizations to succeed.
8. The Hardships of Law Enforcement Critical incidents, officer-involved shootings, traumatic incidents... Is there any good that can come out of it all? It’s all a matter of perspective. We’ll share positive lessons learned in the fire that you cannot get elsewhere.