Being an effective police officer requires extensive training year after year. Law Enforcement agencies across American have done an amazing job equipping police officers for their jobs on the street. The Thin Blue Line Foundation is committed to equipping the law enforcement community to better navigate the personal hardships that accompany their roles. We believe those serving in law enforcement need additional training to excel in their personal lives. Make a personal commitment to better equip yourself to manage the toll of serving in law enforcement.
Challenge yourself for managing the role:
Stress is has a significant impact on your health. It is impossible to eliminate stress from your role but eating healthy and consistently working out will make a major impact on managing your stress level.
Recommended Books and Websites for Law Enforcement
Hearts Beneath the Badge, Karen Solomon
Hearts Beneath the Badge is a book about the good deeds officers perform. There is a pressing need for people to see more than just the officer's hearts; they need to see their souls. Society as a whole needs to accept police officers for who they are - mere mortals. More info here.
Copshock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Discorer (PTSD), Allen R. Kates
Nightmares, flashbacks, anger, concentration problems, emotional detachment, avoidance of people and places... These are some of the signs of PTSD. As many as one in three cops may suffer from PTSD, a condition that could lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, addictions, eating disorders as well as job and family conflict. CopShock prepares police officers for the aftermath of horrific trauma, helps families understand PTSD's effect on their loved ones, tells true stories of officers-men and women-with PTSD. More info here.
Increasing Resilience in Police and Emergency Personnel, Stephanie M Conn, PhD
This book illuminates the psychological, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual impact of police work on police officers, administrators, emergency communicators, and their families. Dr. Conn is a former police officer, dispatcher, daughter of a police officer and now works as a therapist in private practice, specializing in police stress, trauma, work-life balance, coping, and resilience. Her book will provide you practical tools and exercises to strengthen your mental armor as your manage the challenges of your role. More info here.
Break Every Chain, Jonathan E. Hickory
A Police Officer's Battle with Alcoholism, Depression, and Devastating Loss; and the True Story of How God Changed His Life Forever. Drowning in the depths of depression and sadness, burning with anger, and chained down by alcoholism, Jonathan couldn't do any more. After the death of his father as a young boy, facing countless horrific death scenes in the line of duty, and the loss of his first son, Jonathan turned to the world for answers--finding only darkness. Facing the threat of losing his job as a police officer, the loss of his wife and daughter, and contemplating suicide, Jonathan turns to the only one who can truly save.
Stress Management for Law Enforcement, Peter J. Pranzo and Rachela Pranzo
This handbook covers stress and trauma associated with the law enforcement and criminal justice professional. Includes: Anatomy of a Breaking Point; From Stress to Burn Out; Learning to Cope; Post Trauma; Cures, Rehabilitation and Treatment; and Psychological Testing for Police Recruits in addition to related topics dealing with this growing problem. More info here.
Emotional Survival For Law Enforcement, Kevin M. Gilmartin, Ph.D.
Dr. Gilmartin is a behavioral scientist who specializes in issues related to law enforcement. With twenty years of police experience under his belt, he currently provides service to the law enforcement community as a consultant. In writing this book, it was his goal to aid officers and their families in maintaining and/or improving their quality of life both personally ad professionally. More info here.
Suicide by Cop-Inducing Officers to Shoot: Practical Direction for Recognition, Resolution and Recovery, Vivian B. Lord Ph.D
This book is a collaboration of professionals and scholars who care about furthering the science behind "suicide" by cop. More info here.
Law Enforcement Families the Ultimate Backup, James T. Reese, Ph.D.
This book brings home to law enforcement officers and their families an appreciation for what each other are going through and how to foster "mutual support" . Law enforcement developed from simple, uncomplicated functions involving little stress into complex and stressful endeavors requiring highly trained personnel. Authors, James T. Reese, PhD and Cherie Castellano CSW, LPC, have spearheaded the essential psychological services that have become common place in law enforcement organizations today. More importantly, this book is an attempt to assist officers and their families in restoring order in their personal lives. This book offers suggestions for solutions. During discussions with law enforcement officers and their families, the authors have learned that without a support system, cops fail. Thus, the theme of this book emerges: our families are our ultimate backup. Without them, we lose, and America loses. More info here.
Police Suicide: Epidemic in Blue, John M. Vilanti, Ph.D.
Doctor Violanti discusses the classical studies in suicide, the accuracy and validity of police suicide rates, probable precipitating factors associated with police suicide, the impact of retirement, the idea of 'suicide by suspect,' the antecedents of murder-suicide, the plight of survivors of police suicide, and information and suggestions for police suicide prevention. Also discussed is the relationship between suicide and the reluctance of police officers to seek professional help. More info here.
Domestic Violence/U.S. Department of Justice, Rana Sampson
This book identifies a series of questions to help you analyze your local domestic violence problem. It reviews responses to the problem and what is known about these from evaluative research and police practice. Domestic disputes are some of the most common calls for police service. Many domestic disputes do not involve violence; this guide discusses those that do, as well as the measures that can be used to reduce them. More info here.
Deadly Force Encounter: What Cops Need To Know To Mentally And Physically Prepare For And Survive A Gunfight, Dr. Alexis Artwohl & Loren W Christensen
In a cop's world it's kill or be killed, but the truth of the matter is that a shooting's aftermath is often the most dangerous time for the cop. This unique life- and career-saving manual contains every shred of critical information the police officer needs to survive the media, investigations and more. More info here.
Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder's Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart, Dan Willis
Suicide, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and many more emotional and stress-related problems plague the first-responder community. Hundreds of thousands of these brave public servants have unwittingly become victims of the professions they once loved. However, the suffering that results from a professional life of sacrifice and service can be prevented and mitigated. More info here.
Warrior Mindset, Michael J. Asken Ph.D and Col. Dave Grossman
Mental toughness is esssential for elite human performance and especially in high stress situations. While mental toughness is a singular value in both military and law enforcement training and missions, too often, there is a disconnect between tallking about and actually training it. Warrior MindSet defines mental toughness and describes its critical need and function in the face of the performance degrading effects of combat, mission or response stress. Warrior MindSet provides the psychological skills that comprise mental toughness to optimze performance, success, safety and survival in the field. More info here.
Surviving the Shadows, Bob Delaney with Dave Scheiber
Surviving the Shadows is an uplifting journey through powerful and inspiring stories-marked by perseverance and personal courage-about an array of people who have suffered directly or indirectly from Post-Traumatic Stress. Along the way, PTSD education and awareness leader Bob Delaney introduces you to medical experts who have developed groundbreaking methods in dealing with the disorder, and profiles one-of-a-kind programs around the country devoted to assisting PTSD sufferers. More info here.
Women Warriors: Stories from behind the Thin Blue Line, John M. Wills
This book contains stories written solely by women in law enforcement regarding their experiences on the job. Women working the streets in law enforcement are a relatively recent phenomenon. In 1970, only 2% of all law enforcement officers were women, but by 1991 that number had risen to 9%. Numbers from the years 2007 and 2008 suggest the number of women involved in policing is almost 100,000, or just over 15%. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). More info here.
'Armor Your Self', John Marx
Armor Your Self is a book that equips law enforcement professionals to protect themselves from the toxic environment they work in each week. It provides practical exercises and tactics to stay physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. More info here.
A confidential 24-hour crisis referral service for First Responders and their families. Speak live with an officer or former law enforcement officer. They are there to talk to you or a family member about the challenges of your law enforcement role. Safe Call provides education, healthy alternatives, and resources to save lives and put families back together.
First Responder Support Network provides educational treatment programs to promote reover from stress and critical incidents experienced by first responders and their families. FRSN's website offers a variety of support resources.
Responder Life brings the transforming power of Christ to every First Responder’s life, family, and career; so that all First Responders and their families be given the opportunity to respond to the most important call of their lives.
PoliceOne offers breaking news, training, grant funding, product research and analysis from some of the top experts in law enforcement.
LawOfficer.com provides law enforcement with daily breaking new stories, and editorials of tactics, technology and training they need to stay safe on the job.