Mississippi Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support
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Mississippi Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support. www.msleaps.org. The life of a law enforcement officer: WHO’S REALLY KILLING US?. Life expectancy of 59 years (78.56 average U.S. male)

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Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

Mississippi Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support


The life of a law enforcement officer who s really killing us

The life of a law enforcement officer:WHO’S REALLY KILLING US?

  • Life expectancy of 59 years (78.56 average U.S. male)

  • #1 in suicide, 312 police suicides in 2009 (54 felonious LODD) Now 1 police suicide every 17 hours. 5-6 to 1 ratio

  • divorce rate about doubles the national average

  • 300% increase in chance of heart attack death in 19 year veterans compared to civilian population.

  • High in Domestic Abuse: What?

  • Alcoholism twice that of national average

  • Sub-culture of society is little known outside of the job.

  • Low pay, long hours, no “normal” life on holidays and weekends. (We’re never “off”.)

  • Critical Incident Stress: life on the street

  • Cumulative Stress: all the critical incidents adding up

  • Life Stress: what everyone else has plus all of the above

Know why you are here and who you are working for

Know why you are here, and who you are working for:

  • Romans 13:1-4; “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority that God has not established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authorities is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those that do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right but for those that do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear from the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s Servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

Other religions and law enforcement

Other Religions and Law Enforcement

Muslims and the Quran


Believe that the human spirit is basically good. Law Enforcement Officers and the law are guards of this good.

Law was created by man for the common human good. It must be enforced.

  • Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God…Qu’ran 4:135

  • “The Quran regards the taking of someone life or property as a criminal behavior and great sin.” Law Enforcement Officials Guide to the Muslim Community

Other religions

Other Religions

  • Judaism

  • Daniel 2:21

  • “He Deposes kings and raises others up…

  • Nationalism

  • Loyalty to leader/nation thru the law

Kim Jong Un

So why are we here

So Why Are We Here?







Decides “Bad”


  • God

  • Right

  • Lawful

  • Concern for Others

  • Decides “Good”

  • Sheep and Sheepdogs

When this “Spiritual Warfare” manifests itself physically, WE are God’s front-line troops.

Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

Our survival includes:

physical survival,

legal survival,

administrative survival,

psychological survival

political survival,

financial survival,

marriage survival, and

spiritual survival.

What is stress

What is Stress

  • Forget the Eustress vs. Distress crap. Stress is simply the price of the everyday wear and tear. It’s our reaction to what we live, see, hear, eat, dream, and what we are.

  • WE are stressed so others don’t have to be.

  • This is not all negative, remember, we volunteered for this job and we love it.

  • Some stress is good. It causes us to do a press check and put the seatbelt on!

Good and bad of stress

Good and Bad of stress

  • Like a guitar string, some stress is good:

    • We wear our seatbelt, press check our gun, wear our vest

    • Good stress can make us better in relationships, it can make us communicate, make us change for the good

    • Bad stress can be turned to something good if you allow it

    • Is a roller coaster good? Ballgames?

Dr hans selye the father of stress research pronounced zel yeh

Dr. Hans Selye: The father of stress research(pronounced ‘Zel-yeh’)

  • 3 “Stages” of stress ARE:

    • 1. Alarm- actual reactions to a threat

    • 2. Resistance- Our body’s reaction to the Alarm stage

    • 3. Exhaustion- the long term effect of untreated stress

      Dr. Selye also researched stress in regards to all occupations.

      The most stressful occupation: law enforcement!

Alarm stage

Alarm Stage:

  • Adrenalin, physical changes covered later

  • Fear is real or perceived but effect is same

  • Triggers physical/chemical changes that willHARM the body in the long run, if not dealt with.

Resistance stage

Resistance Stage

  • Stress Response is triggered constantly, we experience stress overload, anxiety, depression, grief, bitterness, and we stay “negative”

  • Then comes hopelessness, anger, bitterness

  • Body dumps cortisol (weight gain, bone loss) into body constantly,

  • Hypothalmus constantly stimulated which cause adrenal glands to overact.

  • Results are: Memory loss, sleep loss, physical problems

Exhaustion stage

Exhaustion Stage

  • Immune System depletion: allergies, bacteria, viruses, now are more successful in their attacks

  • Loss of sex hormones (and drive), unless stimulated in temporary excitement (alarm stage). PMS, perimenopause, no period, constant period in women

  • Long term memory loss, weight gain especially in the mid section and neck/jaw, low blood sugar, high blood sugar (belly)

  • Final stage: Autoimmune diseases: the body attacks itself: diabetes, lupus, thyroiditus, MS,

We stop doing the fun things!

Reality check

Reality Check

  • Life includes PAIN.

  • Life includes trauma.

  • Life includes surprises.

  • Life includes disappointments.

  • Life includes Ups and Downs.

  • And yes, life ALWAYS includes death.

  • We can’t make life perfect, but we can make these easier to deal with.



“Emotional Capture” occurs when we allow our desire for “control” to overcome our judgment.

Instead of looking for the unexpected, reading the conditions of the scene, prioritizing our response, and placing ourselves in a position of advantage; we respond with, “No, *&^%*()#$%^&, I am in control here!”

Your training must include high stress that causes emotions during the training event; and the activation of emotion reducers (we’ll cover later)

So what can we control

So what can we “Control”?

  • 1.We control our attitude. How we think and what we think about other people, situations, and our reactions to stimuli are self controlled. You are king of your thoughts.

  • 2. We control our bodies. Our exercise, our eating habits, vitamin intake, breathing and relaxation techniques are all choices we make.

  • 3. We control our personal relationships. More specifically, how much time we invest in our relationships with family, friends, God.

  • 4. We control our decisions.With every action we take, there is a decision we make! MAKE THE DECISION TO CONSTANTLY TRAIN!

People react differently

People React Differently!


  • 1/3 experience little or no trauma

  • 1/3 experience moderate trauma

  • 1/3 experience severe trauma

  • Any of the three is normal

  • Personal coping style

  • Prior exposure to critical incidents

  • Degree of intensity of loss

  • Additional learned information after

  • Balance of life

Every situation is different every time to every person!!!

Major physical change 1

Major Physical Change 1:

  • The brain dumps (shifts) massive amounts of epinephrine and dopamine causing adrenalin dumps and blood flow changes.

Major physical change 2

Major Physical Change 2

  • The heart pumps much faster to get the chemical changes throughout the body.

Major physical change 3

Major Physical Change 3:

  • The lungs expand so that more oxygen is pumped through the blood.

  • The brain, heart, and lung changes lead to Physical, Emotional, Cognitive, Behavioral, Family, Social, and Spiritual changes:

During the incident physical changes

During the Incident: Physical Changes

  • time distortion, slow motion

  • auditory distortion, auditory exclusion

  • visual distortion, tunnel vision

  • tremors/shakes,

  • rapid pulse, may last for several days

  • Hyperventilation

  • muscle aches,

  • non-specific body complaints

What might happen

What MIGHT happen:

  • Most shootings occur with 7 yard ranges:

    • You may see suspects face and his/her reactions

    • You may see suspects’ friends’ faces and their reactions, particularly screams

    • You may see his/her body flinch/react

  • You may hear screams, or nothing at all

    You may not feel your recoil

    You may not hear your own commands (or even be aware you gave them

Physical changes continued

Physical Changes, continued

  • Lightheadedness

  • nausea,

  • teeth grinding

  • sweats, chills

  • sleeplessness,

  • digestive problems, 20% report defecation during event

  • High blood pressure,

  • headaches,

  • Fatigue, fainting,

Fight flight freeze fetal f it

Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fetal, F’it

  • Adrenalin forces blood to major muscle groups; biceps, triceps, femoral so you can fight better, or run better

  • Freezing occurs if brain is “searching” for appropriate response

  • Fetal is not fighting, flighting or freezing, Its is the body’s way of protecting itself

  • Conservation Withdrawal occurs when brain gives up the fight-you want to die

Avoiding conservation withdrawal

Avoiding Conservation Withdrawal

  • You must program your brain not to quit thru physical and mental exertion.

  • All survival training must be dynamic and strenuous

  • Never be satisfied with mediocre

  • You must train the brain to RECALL not REACT

  • Questions to ask BEFORE your response: to help avoid sensory overload:

    • Does his behavior fit the situation?

    • Do his answers fit my question?

911 emergency symptoms

911 emergency symptoms

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Shock symptoms

  • Stroke symptoms

  • Panic attacks

  • Any of these require an IMMEDIATE 911 call

Emotional changes

Emotional Changes

  • Heightened sense of danger,

  • 2nd guessing yourself

  • nightmares,

  • isolation

  • numbing,

  • Depression

  • Bible belt guilt,

  • sorrow, remorse

  • anger

Emotional changes 2

Emotional Changes, 2

  • Mark of Cain,

  • loss of control over emotions,

  • preoccupation with event,

  • family problems,

  • sexual difficulties,

  • Self blame, self blame, self blame

Emotional changes continued

Emotional changes: (continued)

  • Soul searching

  • 2nd guessing yourself (I should have, I could have, If I had)

  • We are taught (improperly) not to say we shoot to kill, but we shoot to stop. This causes hesitation at time of crisis and more guilt afterwards.

Cognitive changes

Cognitive Changes

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Disorientation

  • Poor concentration

  • Unable to perform simple tasks

  • Flashbacks (can be visual and /or auditory)

  • Confusion

Cognitive changes continued

Cognitive changes, continued

  • Dissociation (detachment)

  • Intrusive thoughts, sounds, images

  • Memory loss- worst case scenario:

  • you may only have 1% of memory recall of the event for every hour that passes

Behavioral changes

Behavioral Changes:

  • Decreased job performance

  • Withdrawal from friends/colleagues/family

  • Outburst (crying or laughing)

  • Inappropriate responses to situations

  • Changes to normal humor patterns

  • Excessive talkativeness or silence

  • Hyperactive behavior

Steps to take

Steps to Take

  • If you are in a shooting, an accident, a fight, or any HIGH STRESS EVENT:

1 stop the threat

1. Stop the threat!!!

  • You must focus on the KNOWN IMMEDIATE threat until you KNOW it is not a threat.

  • Never assume!! Don’t approach unless you have help.

3 look for other threats

3. Look for other threats!

  • Odds are pretty good there will be multiple suspects.

  • Look for others that may need shooting!

  • SCAN. Make your head turn.

  • You will likely have narrowed vision.

  • BREATHE !!!! Breathe deeply. Breathe deeply again.

2 move breathe

2. Move!! BREATHE!!!

  • Move to cover if you are not already there.

  • If you are behind good cover, stay there if you possibly can.

  • Deep Tactical Breathing is now warranted.

    • Inflate stomach thru mouth

    • Hold 1 full second

    • Exhale deeply

4 call for help in plain english

4. Call for help in Plain English


  • It tells dispatch and all officers “I think I’m supposed to panic now.”

  • State WHO is shot. If you are injured. If suspect is injured. Get an ambulance in route if anyone is hurt

5 handcuff the suspect and render aid

5. Handcuff the Suspect.AND RENDER AID

  • All suspects are a threat to you until they are handcuffed.

  • If only one arm, handcuff to something.

  • Render Aid: Call Ambulance for bad guy

6 secure the evidence

6. Secure the Evidence

  • Weapons, brass, bodies

  • If all by yourself, secure it!!

  • If many other officers there, photograph it.

  • Judgment call on your part but you MUST have the evidence a year later in court!!

7 show backup where evidence is

7. Show backup where evidence is

  • This will include weapons, brass, and bodies but also includes witnesses. Point out who was there.

  • Point to where you were standing. Remember, distance is difficult to measure during a crisis

  • 10 second rule. Give a brief synopsis of what happened to back-up officers

8 leave the scene call your family

8. Leave the scene/Call your family

  • Leave the Scene:

    • This is one of the hardest for bosses. They want you on scene to answer questions.

    • If nothing else, sit in a car out of sight of the scene WITH OTHER OFFICERS.

    • `Never sit behind a cage, unless under arrest

  • Call your family:

    • Use plain English. Let them know you are OK. Remember, privilege only applies to husband/wife. It does NOT apply to parents, siblings, paramours.

    • Make this call in private if at all possible.

10 do not give in depth interviews

10. Do not give in-depth interviews.

  • It is not smart to interview when there may only be 2-3% of memory of the event.

  • Same is true for written statement

  • Stay off the phone!!

  • Miranda/Garrity applies

  • Peer Counselors should not give legal advice.

  • 10-3 RULE: 10 seconds on scene; wait 3 hours; 10 minutes; wait 3 days. After 3 days: good

9 get to a safe place

9. Get to a safe place:

  • The PD or the SO is likely where you need to go.

  • I have used schools (nobody there at night), churches, and officer’s homes. Remember, there may be other’s there.

  • No calls

  • The officer is NOT escorted in the building

  • He is NOT to be put in the interview room!!!

9 b take a 3 hour break

9 b. Take a 3 hour break:

  • Do not discuss the incident during this time.

  • Replenish fluids, get candy bars and gatorade.

  • No calls except family. The phone remains off.

  • Screen visitors. Remember judgmental statements may be made.

  • Keep the officer informed of significant events during this break

10 b call peer support

10 b. Call Peer Support

  • Have SHOOTING pre programmed in your phone (and everyone else’s) for peer support in your area: Print out defusing sheets (msleaps.org)

  • Get there asap!

  • Text me: Tim: 601-955-0055

If you are not the shooter and no cop is hurt

If you are NOT the shooterand no cop is hurt:

  • Step 1: Provide a compassionate response to the officer at the scene.

  • Get the officer’s cell phone and turn it OFF!

  • Assign a companion to the officer of the officer’s choosing (this should be pre-chosen by each officer) This companion is not to judge, pry, or advise, only console and give mental first aid. (stay positive, state you will be with him/her for support, protect from judgmental responses, touch) Make/take all calls for the officer.

Step 2

Step 2

  • Give mental and physical first aid.

  • Part of your preparation should be treating wounds. Now you realize the significance of mental wounds as well as physical.

  • You know physical first aid, call someone who knows mental first aid if you don’t.

  • Tourniquets are a first option, not a last!

What is mental first aid

What is mental first aid?

  • Be Positive with all your comments. Never say a sentence with a negative word and “you” in it.

  • Give reassurance that you will be there for the officer. Let him know you’ll be making sure nobody abuses him.

  • The human touch does amazing things.

  • All steps on the card are a part of mental first aid.

Step 3

Step 3

  • Do not make judgmental responses.

  • Any statement that starts with “I would have…”, “You should have…” is a stupid one and can cause much damage.

  • This damage is multiplied if you are in a superior role (a supervisor, the investigator).

Step 4

Step 4

  • Do not take the officer’s gun. Record the serial numbers of the barrel and the frame AND LET HIM/HER KEEP IT!!!

  • The shooter should never be unarmed.

  • Call the crime lab to arrange a test fire while the officer waits for it at the lab.

  • If someone has already taken the gun, get him/her one.

Step 5

Step 5

  • Remove the officer from the scene as soon as critical evidence is identified. Get the officer to a local PD or SO or wherever, but get him away.

  • He/She does not need to stay with the body while family/friends gather around. He does not need to see the body over and over.

Step 6

Step 6

  • The officer must call his family as soon as possible. He himself must do this, not someone else. This should be the only call he makes except for the initial call for assistance. This call is just to inform family of his/her condition. (Husband/wife privilege does apply, however).

Step 7

Step 7

  • Allow a psychological break of at least 3 hours before investigative interviews. Provide a defusing during this break.

  • Under no circumstances should an in depth interview be done before a break of 3 hours.

  • 10-10-10 rule: 10 seconds on scene; 10 minutes after a Defusing; 10 hours on 3rd day

  • Call an officer trained in defusings immediately.

Critical incident amnesia

Critical Incident Amnesia

  • During a critical incident, the brain changes the way it records events. Seemingly important facts are totally left out because the brain perceives them to be unimportant to survival.

  • All that matters to the brain is staying alive. Can someone tell me why what “might” happen in court 2 years later is important at the time of a shooting?



  • A psychological phenomena in which a mistruth or misunderstanding becomes the actual memory. This can occur when an officer is forced to write a report or give interviews too soon after a critical incident.

  • This is unintentional to the shooter and he/she is unaware their statements are “created”

Step 8

Step 8

  • Provide the officer access to his/her own attorney.

  • The department attorney represents the department and may hurt the officer instead of helping him/her.

  • Law Enforcement organizations provide attorneys as part of membership.

  • If you are ever given a Miranda warning, your interview is YOUR CHOICE. Use caution with anyone who gives you a Miranda. Use your RIGHTS.

Garrity v new jersey 1966

Garrity v. New Jersey; 1966

  • Before a department can make the officer talk, in an internal affairs investigation, they must advise him-her of three things. They must:

  • 1. Order the officer to answer questions under threat of dismissal or disciplinary action,

  • 2. Ask questions which are specifically, directly, and narrowly related to the officer’s duties or the officer’s fitness for duty, AND,

  • 3. Advise the officer that the answers to the questions can not be used against the officer in criminal proceedings.

Step 9

Step 9

  • Screen incoming calls to the officer. He should not take calls on his cell phone. Notice the period! Not from bosses, other agents/officers, friends, nobody!

  • The exceptions may be an officer trained in defusings/debriefings, his pastor, his doctor, or his attorney.

  • Turn his/her answer machine on at home and screen these calls.

Step 10

Step 10

  • Administrators and supervisors should give their support. It is better to show this support in person, but a phone call may suffice.

  • I suggest a business card with EVERY contact number the chief/sheriff has given to the officer in person!

  • If the officer is wounded, get to the hospital!

  • Post officers nearby during the entire stay.

Step 11

Step 11

  • Interrupt the information flow to the officer. Do not withhold facts about the case from the officer. He should know everything that is going on, but the information coming to him must not be raw, unchecked information.

  • He should never hear major developments from the news media.

  • What do I think of the news media?

Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

  • The officer shall never talk about the case to the news media. Not ever!

  • He/she should not watch the news or read the newspaper. They will get it wrong, judge you and say anything to sell advertising.

News media post shooting

News Media Post Shooting



Say “No Comment”

Lie, stretch, speculate

Use police jargons

Get mad

Speak negatively

Speak on behalf of others

Ignore reporters

Play favorites with reporters

Speak “off the record”

  • Report only the facts

  • Keep it simple

  • Think before talking

  • Be firm, fair, honest

  • Speak only for your agency

  • Say so if you don’t know

  • Assume everything said will be released

  • Maintain eye contact with reporters, NOT the camera

Critical incident officer injured

Critical Incident: Officer injured

  • Follow all guidelines of officer not injured where applicable.

  • Treat officer for wounds, get to hospital asap (you transport any officer)

  • Assign an officer to the scene to protect physical evidence

  • If physically able, the officer will call his family. If not, other officers go to family and transport them to the hospital.

  • Assign an officer to transport family to and from the hospital. Leave an officer close to the wounded officer at all times.

If you are shot

If you are shot:

  • You may not know you are until later

  • You may not feel hits in the vest(it may NOT feel like someone hit you with a hammer)

  • If you taste or feel blood, GET MAD AND FIGHT

  • Self apply tourniquets if necessary

  • Carry Quick Clot

Every officer should know

Every Officer Should Know:

  • ABC’s of CPR are reversed for officers injured.

  • Stop the bleeding first:

    • Tourniquets

    • Pressure, pressure, pressure

    • Quick-Clot in EVERY car

  • Use of a #14 needle to re-inflate a lung



  • Quick, on scene just to ID evidence

  • Remember the 10-10-10 rule

  • 10-minute non-note taking internal interview after a defusing

  • Formal interview after two days unless given a Miranda (can be conducted by Internal Affairs, in-department investigators, or outside agencies)

  • Never interview a policeman in the same place you would interview a suspect.

  • The officer is always free to go.

How to fix your stress

How to fix your stress:

Balance of life

Balance of Life

  • Family

  • Friends

  • Job

  • Hobbies

  • Church*

  • Religion

  • School

  • Volunteer programs

Here s what we say are important

Here’s what we SAY are important

  • God

  • Health

  • Family

  • Job

  • Friends

  • Hobby

  • Etc.

  • Ourselves-last

Here s reality

Here’s Reality

  • Job

  • Job

  • Job

  • Too much time on job = divorce, health problems

  • Need break of at least 8 awake hours for autonomic nervous system to recover each day

Being positive has nothing to do with personality type

Being PositiveHas NOTHING to do with personality type

  • Positive +

  • Smiles

  • Sends/creates energy +

  • Finds solutions

  • Appears Confident

  • Attracts other positives

  • Negative -

  • Frowns

  • Takes energy away --

  • Finds more problems

  • Appears judgmental

  • Attracts negatives

Stress relievers

Stress Relievers

  • Positive

    • Exercise

    • Walking- Running

    • Sports

    • Martial Arts

    • Moral sex

    • Spiritual development

  • Negative

    • Drinking

    • Drugs

    • Smoking

    • Immoral sex

    • Emotional Affairs

    • Improper “venting”

Alternate stress relievers

Alternate Stress Relievers

  • Talk about your problems

  • Write your feelings down

  • Art therapy

  • Establish priorities

  • Establish "social life”

  • Religious belief

  • "Awareness" training

  • Decrease alcohol

  • Volunteer

  • Vacation


Staying resilient

Staying Resilient

  • Don’t waste time trying to control things you can’t. Don’t have a victim mindset.

  • Get expectations in line with reality.

  • You can be reactive, inactive, or proactive. Be proactive, protect yourself and family.

  • Be physical.

  • Develop and maintain support systems other than the job.

Our brain

Our Brain:

  • 400 chemicals in our brain

  • Only 150 are identified

  • 100 billion neurons

  • 100 trillion connections

Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

  • The Temporal Lobe and Lobes provide


  • The “survival bank” in lobes store our survival response to threatening situations

Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

  • When under immediate threat, the Corpus Callosum blocks emotional responses from physical responses.

  • The Amygdala sends our survival response to all other parts of the brain

  • After the threat has dissipated, we MUST “tear down this wall”

Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

The Amygdala sends our survival action response to other areas of the brain as it has been trained to in a neurological pathway

Unfortunately, the amydala never forgets anything.

This helps us in future survival situations,

It kills us slowly in life. There is no “Men In Black” magic wand to erase memory.

Post traumatic stress disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • PTSD/PTSI occurs when the symptoms of a critical incident continue for more than 90 days after the event.

  • Look for the emotional, cognitive, physical, and behavioral signs that last and last.

  • Debriefings may be repeated, especially if the officer excluded important facts in the initial debriefing.

  • EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing cures 98% of PTSD/PTSI victims. Performed by Mental Health Care Professionals

  • Originates from cortisol and adrenalin “burning” the memory into the brain.

  • Vicitims relive it at night enough, they are very reluctant to relive it during the day (therapy)

Predictors of ptsd ptsi

Predictors of PTSD/ PTSI

  • Pre-Trauma Vulnerability; relationship issues, previous exposures to trauma, age and experience; coping mechanisms

  • Magnitude of Stressor:

  • Preparation for the event:

  • Immediate and Short Term Responses

Believe they are beyond help, afraid of going to sleep, don’t know

help is available, trained to help others, not yourself, …

Ptsi diagnostic criteria

PTSI Diagnostic Criteria

  • Person experienced an event that is outside the range of usual human experience and that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone

  • The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced

  • Persistent avoidance of events associated with the trauma

  • Persistent physical symptoms

Mississippi law enforcement alliance for peer support

The Stairway

The ptsd bell curve

The PTSD Bell Curve




Post traumatic growth

Post Traumatic Growth

  • A Position:

    • There can never be a return to the base-line:

    • There will be a new normal

    • A new opportunity for improvement

  • A paradox:

    • A loss but a gain, feel worthy of your suffering

    • Realization that you are vulnerable yet stronger

  • A Purpose:

    • Explore the questions, research your changes

    • Extend to others in need

    • Exchange adversity for triumph

Ptsd ptsi and loved ones

PTSD/PTSI and loved ones

  • PTSD/PTSI: Much focus is placed on the victim of PTSD/PTSI not the spouse:

    • Spouse of Victim is neglected

    • Victim’s behaviors are excused but spouse suffers consequence

    • Lack of sleep

    • Depression and lethargy

    • Trauma is relived at night enough, Victims avoid confronting it during the day, therefore therapy is difficult to offer.

      As team members, we must also talk to spouse!

Self defusing techniques defusing the psychophysiological hyperarousal reaction

Self Defusing TechniquesDefusing the Psychophysiological Hyperarousal Reaction

  • Deep Breathing:

    • Nose in, stomach breathing; 4 seconds

    • Hold 4 seconds

    • Out through mouth-deflation, 4 seconds

  • Relaxation Drill: toe to head, 6 minutes

  • Visualization: safe place, favorite place; 30 seconds

  • Rigorous Vigorous Exercise





  • Guilt results when our expectations of ourselves fail to match reality.

  • What you DID vs What you THINK you should have done; logic does NOT equal your emotion

  • The reality is: WE ARE NOT PERFECT

  • Being trapped by our wrongdoing is a leading cause of suicide, even if “minor” in the eyes of others.

  • Punishment or saving a life ALWAYS beats saving a career.

  • Guilt says you are a responsible person

Balanced scales of life

Balanced Scales of Life

Suicide Instigators

Suicide Inhibitors

Natural survival instinct

Relationship continuance

Career continuance

Survival of other loved ones

Coping mechanisms

  • Relationship trouble

  • Career trouble

  • Health

  • Death of loved one

  • PAIN

When instigators outweigh inhibitors,

Or, when pain outweighs coping mechanisms

Suicide is likely

Training to survive

Training to Survive

  • The academy does the best they can to train you. But that’s what they call “minimum”

  • You must train on your own while on the job.

  • Your training MUST include training your brain NOT TO QUIT until you tell it to.

  • Staying Physically Fit is part of this training.

  • Include “emotional shock” in your training

Sleep deprivation and judgment

Sleep Deprivation and Judgment

  • US Army study: 20 nights of ___ hours of sleep:

  • Seven Hours…………………………__98%

  • Six Hours……………………………….__50%

  • Five Hours ………..…………………..__29%

  • Four Hours or less………………….__25%

  • Not getting sleep is the same as DUI!!

  • Be yourself


    • You were born to be a cop; but are you trying to be someone you’re not?


    • We are the results of the decisions we have made and people know us based on our decisions. This applies to everyone!

    • Strong people have ALWAYS made bad decisions/mistakes. Live for the future!

    • Great people make others feel great. Small people make others feel small!

    Win lou holtz

    WIN!Lou Holtz

    • What’s Important Now!!

    • It is hard to do something tomorrow or yesterday!

    • It’s the RIGHT NOW that you can’t miss!

    5 steps to law enforcement and life happiness

    5 steps to law enforcement (and life) happiness:

    1. Keep focused on God.

    We are created, not evolved. Our purpose for being created?

    To be God’s companion!

    If you are not his companion there is something “missing” in your life.

    Pray daily. Grow spiritually daily.

    “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” means law enforcement or the badge, shall not be your God.

    5 steps to law enforcement and life happiness1

    5 steps to law enforcement (and life) happiness:

    • Have the Right Attitude

      You have an awesome job. Why should you be jealous of what someone else has? How much they make?

      Understand bad things will happen on the street and on the job! And, less competent people will get things you think they don’t deserve. No matter what, BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE.

    5 steps to law enforcement and life happiness2

    5 steps to law enforcement (and life) happiness:

    3. Eat properly and Exercise.

    A life on fast food is destiny for an officer. But it doesn’t mean hamburgers, chicken and fries anymore. Salads, grilled chicken, etc. will let you live longer and feel better.

    Lay off the convenience store chips, sugared drinks, ice cream, etc.

    You will be a better officer by looking better and feeling better.

    You will live longer and have less doctor bills.

    Your quality of this long life will improve.

    Depression chemicals are released thru exercise.

    How long does it take to walk 30 minutes?

    5 steps to law enforcement and life happiness3

    5 steps to law enforcement (and life) happiness:

    4. Emotionally connect with someone.

    This should be your spouse if you’re married. Another officer is good but it is not healthy to share your heart with someone more than you do your spouse.

    We say our spouse’s “don’t understand.” We’re right; and they won’t ever “understand” until we allow them to.

    5 steps to law enforcement and life happiness4

    5 steps to law enforcement (and life) happiness:

    5. Work!!! , BE SIGNIFICANT

    It seems that the people who complain the most are the least productive.

    You were created and placed at law enforcement for a specific purpose: to fight evil. You are chosen warriors in this God versus Satan war. DO YOUR PART!!!

    Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

    Your chief or sheriff is not the big boss, you work for God. (XIII)!!!

    Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”

    The saddest thing that could happen to you is to miss your career while being in it for 30 years.

    Tim rutledge

    Tim Rutledge

    • Mississippi Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support

    • 601-955-0055---cell

    • 601-696-8894---desk

    • [email protected]

    • [email protected]

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