I believe that law enforcement is the most noble of all professions.
I believe that the people who take a job or take an oath to protect and to serve their community in law enforcement should be honored and celebrated for that decision.
I believe we should be held to a higher standard.
I believe we should be nurtured, supported, encouraged and esteemed for that higher standard.
I believe that higher standard is a colossal commitment that should not be accepted lightly.
I believe many, many law enforcement professionals are suffering in silence because the burden of service in this profession is substantial and the expectations are monumental.
We are the Guardians of the Peace – we are the thin blue line between a peaceful society and anarchy.
We have promised… that we can be called upon as Warriors in a split second to make life and death decisions and in those decisions may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to our society by giving up our lives in service – – or perhaps worse – we may have to take the life of another person.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines:
a sudden, radical, or complete change
activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes
a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something
a change of paradigm
a process of change in a certain direction
a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state
a process of gradual… advance
I define RE-evolution as a combination of revolution and evolution, within which we would mobilize massive change, but execute it slowly enough to create a lasting effect.
You could RE-evolutionize a process, a system or even a profession.
I believe we need a RE-evolution in our law enforcement profession. If we don’t take care of our people, we won’t be able to take care of THE PEOPLE. I think we have spent too many years and too much time and energy pursuing technological improvements, that while necessary, have been done at the sacrifice of our people – our precious human resources. This is a PEOPLE business, made up of people who serve people. This is not a job that can be done without healthy people.
Specifically, I don’t believe we are adequately preparing our young personnel to cope with the negative stresses, traumas and tragedies that they have to endure in their jobs. I call this Blue Trauma Syndrome. I coined that term to generate more discussion and ultimately more research on what it is that erodes the spirit of a law enforcement professional. I don’t believe we are doing enough to support and sustain the people who have been toiling in this job for years and years. We take better care of our vehicles than we do of our people! When we suffer, so does the work and so do the people we serve.
I think we all need to be RE-evolutionists and force a positive change within our industry.
I don’t think we are serving the public as well as we should and perhaps more importantly, I don’t think we are serving our people as well as we should. Of all the jobs on earth where you would think we would look after each other it should be in law enforcement, but policing seams to be a competitive activity and sometimes we really don’t take care of our Selves, nor look after each other like we should. Considering our lives could be dependent upon how well we, and our peers, perform you would think this would be considered mission critical – but it’s not!
If we can’t thrive in our work and our lives, we can’t serve, we can’t be compassionate, we can’t be respectful and we can’t make critical, split-second, life and death decisions.
This is not a job to endure – it is a “calling” within which we need to thrive.
Some of us are doing this and some are not – we all deserve the support system it takes to thrive in our jobs.
It’s time for a change – a change in behavior, a change in focus and a massive improvement in our support systems.
I believes that we should ALL work to catalyze a RE-evolution in the area of police wellness to enhance our well-being and that of our peers.
I don’t think we are taking good enough care of our precious human, law enforcement, resources, and that massively inhibits our ability to effectively serve and protect the public the way that we are supposed to do, and the way we have pledged to do.
What am I going to do?
What can you do?
Take care of your Self
Make a Plan!
Help Each Other!
The book Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement offers nearly 200 ideas for tactics and exercises you can do to strengthen and condition your Self physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. At least for now, no one else is going to take care of YOU – so you have to do it yourself.
Work to build a stronger agency
Roll up your sleeves and see what you can do within your community, the neighborhoods you serve and find a way to solve some problems, not just continue to take reports and arrest the same people over and over again.
Make a Plan!
We can complain that the SYSTEM isn’t working but the only part of that equation that you can impact is the part you play.
Take Care of Each Other!
We have to create a culture of wellness and well-being and WE ALL need to make it safe to ask for help. We someone asks we have to be willing to help and hopefully have the support systems in place to provide that help. It is so much easier to get well when you ask for help early until waiting until your personal issues become a crisis!
Also, we all need to work to build a stronger community
I was a Community Policing Project Administrator and one thing I learned is that it isn’t the big things that make the most difference, it’s the little things. The things that don’t cost any money or don’t involve too many people.
It’s about leadership – your leadership – It’s about investing time where it can help the most.
We have a program called LoCAL which stands for Law enforcement Officers as Community Action Leaders. In its simplest form it has two parts:
1. Recognize that YOU are a leader, no matter what your job description
2. YOU have the power to improve the people and the neighborhoods you serve if you just dedicate a little time to it and round up the people and resources you need to get things done!
Don’t wait – Act!
Remember, a RE-evolution is a combination of revolution and evolution, with which you can mobilize massive change, slowly enough to have a lasting effect on your Self, your family, your agency and your community.
I am here to help you along with all the people who are connected to the Law Enforcement Survival Institute.
Let us know what you are doing – and let us know what you need.
Leave a comment below (be patient we have to review them before they appear) or send me an email.
Reach out to us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter – join our discussion groups or invite us to yours!
Good luck – Stay safe!
John Marx – March 2018
© Copyright 2018 – The Law Enforcement Survival Institute, LLC and CopsAlive.com – All Rights Reserved
CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival, health and wellness. 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 based upon John Marx’ book of the same name. This seminar helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to build Tactical Resilience™ and survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE. To learn about and buy the book 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
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CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers and improve their heathy, wellness and effectiveness. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence. Thank you for reading!