Pain Behind the Badge


            Law enforcement today is tougher than ever. On the job, police officers today are faced with varied and ongoing threats to their safety and an endless onslaught of scrutiny. At home, law enforcement families live with the fear of losing their loved one. The ringing of a telephone in the middle of the night is more ominous than ever today. Through it all, police officers are expected to soldier on, to their job with dignity, integrity, and stoically.

            An all-too-common myth within the LEO community is that police officers solve problems they don’t have problems. Oftentimes, if a critical incident occurs at home or at work the team’s response is to address the issue with copious amounts of alcohol. Special skills are required to make an appropriate response to an officer in trouble not a bottle of Maker’s Mark. But getting an officer to acknowledge their need for help is never easy.

            Through a mix of didactic and hands-on experiential activities, supervisors will learn the three critical aspects of helping an officer in trouble. Supervisors will learn the warning signs and risk factors of an officer suffering from depression, posttraumatic stress injury, and acute stress. In phase two of the training supervisors will learn how to facilitate an otherwise resistant officer to open up and accept help. In phase three, supervisors will learn how best to respond to an officer’s unique situation.

            If time allows, we will touch on other important topics like the Annual Resilience Review, EAPs, health insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and what a culturally competent clinician is and is not. Additionally, there will be a brief discussion on when a fitness-for-duty evaluation is warranted and how to avoid violating various federal laws.