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App to Help Police, Fire, EMS, Dispatcher, Corrections

1stHelp will centralize data for First Responders so they can confidentially find the help they need, when they need it.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1271316652/app-to-help-police-fire-ems-dispatcher-corrections
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UNHERALDED VOICES
They take the calls, send the officers, absorb the wrath, counsel the weak, instruct over the phone when life is in peril; dispatchers!
Dim the lights, skew the hue, for mental tranquility it’s got to be blue; the ambiance in the dispatch center!
This group of professionals receive more crank phone calls than all others combined, but the callers are actually serious. “I gotta a bear in my pool. Get someone here quick,” hollers the one soliciting assistance on the emergency line. On rare occasion there is a bear, but typically found is a large possum or other marsupial.
“You better send someone fast, cuz’ I’m about to shoot my man. He came home smelling like the cocktail waitress,” exclaims a distressed woman looking for help.
“I’m sorry ma’am, can you explain what you mean?” replies the professional with a phone in hand and microphone at the ready.
Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/…/…/07/unheralded-voices/
Law Enforcement Today is a leading law enforcement community by law enforcement officials, for law enforcement officials.
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PTSD: the enemy of cops

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? The best working definition can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) as “Diagnostic Criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. Oversimplified it is an emotional and physical injury as the result of an external cause that is diagnosable. Take note that it is due to an external cause or source. In fact, it is related more to cumulative stress from traumatic events, than from a single incident.

Eric Wahgren, in Business Week, wrote, “In some ways, a cops work may be even more traumatic than that of a soldier sent into a war zone, experts say, ‘The police officer’s job, over many years exposes and re-exposes them to traumatic events that would make anybody recoil in horror.’ A combat soldier’s deployment of 12- 18 months is without a doubt intense but the police officer gets no breaks or relief / decompression time during their career of 15 or more years.

The cause and the cure is the person cannot separate emotions from memory.

Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2016/01/06/ptsd-the-enemy-of-cops/
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TELL FOOLS TO TAKE A HIKE
Mr. Ignorant and Mr. Fool walked into a convenient store without realizing it was being robbed. Seeing that Mr. Evil had the drop on the clerk, self-preservation kicked in and Ignorant dove for cover while Fool stood in shock and drooled. When Evil fled, the police responded. Ignorant accurately told the cops what he'd seen. Fool was led astray and would not provide anything useful.The experience altered Ignorant’s perception on life, so he changed his name to Mr. Wisdom, and eventually became a peace officer.

http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2015/12/06/tell-fools-to-take-a-hike/
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LINE OF DUTY DEATH: THE POSITIVE POWER OF HEALING THROUGH RITUAL AND GRIEF
I closed my eyes, exhaled, and waited for the sound of the 21-gun salute. I instinctively knew this would be followed by the final radio call, taps, folding of the flag, and the playing of the bagpipes. As a crisis and trauma consultant with first responders, I have had the honor and sadness to attend numerous memorial services for fallen law enforcement officers and yet, with each one of these ritualistic ceremonies, I am always struck by their powerful impact for those who experience it. Ritual can be defined as an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a precise manner and they have a special purpose. While I have witnessed countless officers in attendance let down their guard long enough to shed a tear, I understand these demonstrations of grief and respect the need to be given a safe time and place to feel this pain and loss. It strangely allows us to attend to our emotional wounds. It is also through the concept of symbolic interactionism that we give symbols and meaning through the lens of these tragic events and these often drive the ultimate interpretation of the overall impact in our own lives.
As a part of this process, survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty often must engage in the sharing of their story as they work toward healing and implications for their own purpose in the world. As they recount the details often time and time again, the meaning of their loss evolves and often gives them direction to positively impact the lives of others. Although difficult to hear, we have the ability to learn valuable life lessons from their grief, share in their journey, and can help them embrace the positive influence of the memories. It thus becomes a ritual.
I was recently contacted by Stephanie Barnes, the sister of fallen St. Petersburg Police Department (Florida) K9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz (EOW 1-24-2011). She agreed to share her own story of love and loss and how it has created a deep desire for her to help others. I encourage you to truly listen as it will definitely touch your heart as it did mine.
Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/…/line-of-duty-death-th…/
Law Enforcement Today is a leading law enforcement community by law enforcement officials, for law enforcement officials.
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Do you have a bright financial future?

What is your routine everyday before you start your shift? What is the first thing you tell yourself? The one thing, as a law enforcement officer, you do everyday before shift is to tell yourself “ I WILL make it home today!”

There are many reasons why you took the career path you chose. Service to your community, help make a difference in someone’s life, protect the innocent, continue a proud family tradition, etc. Whatever the reason may be, it probably did not include the thought “I will be very wealthy!” You devote yourself to a life of service for a cause that you believe in down to every fiber of your being. The one financial thought that crossed your mind is a great retirement at the end of your career. So you decide to suit up everyday and better your community and hope that after your 20-30 years of service will repay you with a retirement that you can relax and enjoy with your family and loved ones.

Fast forward to your retirement year! You decide that its time to hang up the heavy gun belt you have carried throughout your career and begin to travel and spend time with the grandchildren. You talk with your HR department and tell them your plan to retire and ask “What do I need to do?”. They hand you a stack of paperwork and tell you to fill it out and bring it back when you’re finished. So you happily go home and start reading the paperwork. Looking at your retirement benefits you find out that your retirement will not be enough money to at least cover the bills. You come to the disheartening realization that you will have to work in your retirement or cut back on the household budget. What went wrong?

Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2015/11/26/do-you-have-a-bright-financial-future/
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Reducing School Violence: A Proactive Curriculum Approach - 

Since 1996 we have had about 43 major Junior and High school shootings and stabbings within the U.S. The age groups that this paper focusses on are about 31 incidences from ages 13 to 16, and 12 incidences from ages 17-20. There were only two occurrences involving shooters under age 12. There are more from college age groups above the age of 21 at different types of colleges and universities and is not a part of this proposal. However, it could be related in terms of higher education security policies.

The interesting facts are that there appears to be some similar school types and locations. They are suburban and rural settings, mostly public schools, and non-prestigious types. These young school killers appear to be more apt to be from normal families. There is mostly no history of religious or racial hatred. Yet, after the fact, we have learned there were tendencies by internet reading, site viewing, and statements made in class to hint at future possible unstable actions. We cannot intervene on the possibility that someone will do future harm, or that is what we are led to believe.

Consider DUI checkpoints, random housing checks, and stop and searches on the border without probable cause. Therefore, there is precedence for intervention before an actual harm is done—especially if it is not arrest related. What this paper suggest is identifying possible unstable students and providing them with some sense of self-worth. Afterwards, we can intervene to further provide social assistance. Finally, special training should be given to police and security guards to develop a report with all apparently normal students and some obvious erratic students before they act out.

See more at: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2015/11/14/reducing-school-violence-a-proactive-curriculum-approach/#sthash.kvn2hdLa.dpuf
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Just Call Me Alice

First Responder Alliance

Sometime after the incident in Ferguson I jumped down the rabbit hole and haven’t been able to make my way back out. I’ve looked around, there is no exit. Well, there is for me, sort of. I’m not injured, disabled, have PTSD or suffering from the absence of a career that defined me. I still can’t find the exit and believe me I’ve looked for it.

On October 7, 2015, the Washington Post ran an article entitled “FBI Director calls lack of data on police shootings ‘ridiculous’, ‘embarrassing’”. I gleefully opened the article expecting to find a ladder. Unfortunately, his definition of ‘police shootings’ and mine aren’t the same. Director Comey was referring to the lack of data surrounding police use of deadly force. Perhaps I misunderstood him, but I did not misunderstand the article.

It spoke of the FBI’s collection of “people killed by police officers”, The Summit on Violent Crime Reduction’s effort to “bring clarity to how often and under what circumstances police use deadly force” and the Bureau of Justice Statistics “exploring new methods of gathering data on deaths in custody”. This wasn’t at all what I was looking for.

There was a bit of hope in the article, California Attorney General Kamala Harris has announced the creation of a database which tracks officers killed or injured in the line of duty as well as deaths in police custody. The information dates back ten years. She’s given me hope that I can get out of the rabbit hole and take people with me.

You’re probably wondering what rabbit hole I am speaking of, it’s a hole, a purgatory, a waiting room – whatever you’d like to call it. It’s the place you can find physically injured officers, disabled officers, officers with PTSD, mental issues and, suicide victims and survivors. You’ll also find the walking wounded – wearing a uniform with scars you’ll never see for which there is no treatment. If there is treatment, some are forced to find it and pay for it themselves.

While writing my books, I have inadvertently climbed in with them and want to help them find their way out. I tried. I have found lots of statistics – “Immigrants Killed by Police”, “Fatal Encounters”, “Distraught People Deadly Results” and “The Counted” – just the tip of the iceberg. There is no shortage of statistics so show us how law enforcement has failed society. Where are the statistics so show how society has failed law enforcement?

The IACP conducted a one year study, over 18 departments, tracking LE injuries; Albuquerque, NM is trying to introduce the “Line of Duty Injury Act”; and an officer in South Carolina has launched a personal mission to get PTSD coverage for first responders in South Carolina. But where’s the data to help them in their cause? Where is the number suffering post-traumatic stress, the disabled and the suicidal for the rank and file of police, corrections, fire and EMS? Where is the data to show that it would be cheaper to provide them with debriefings, Critical Incident Stress Management training and counseling? The data that shows the number of officer who cannot get benefits after a catastrophic injury? Where is the data to show when society uses deadly force against law enforcement?

I’ve been looking and I can’t find it, I don’t believe it exists. Collecting that data and making it available is the way out of the rabbit hole for me and everyone I found in that hole. If we can collect the data that shows when officers use force, we should surely be able to collect the reverse.

My words often feel meaningless; I’ve quickly learned how powerless truth can be and how dangerous the person with a megaphone has become. I can continue to write the stories of the officers that society has forgotten, for the ones that are hoping someone sees their pain and for the families of the suicide victims, but what good would that do? They are “stories”; people don’t see it as factual information that can convince a bureaucrat that change is needed. While I begin to write my third book, I will also begin the quest to bring that data to the forefront. It’s possible, it’s realistic and it needs to be done. I’ve gathered a few friends and we’ve begun collecting the data, we’re building a searchable database so a first responder can find help in their area and, we’re going to use the information we collect to improve the well-being of first responders. In the meantime, you can find me in the rabbit hole and you can call me Alice.

http://www.themissingniche.com/2016/01/just-call-me-alice.html/
Sometime after the incident in Ferguson I jumped down the rabbit hole and haven’t been able to make my way back out. I’ve looked around, there is no exit. Well, there is for me, sort of. I’m not injured, disabled, have PTSD or suffering from the absence of a career that defined me. I still …
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FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOUR FAMILY 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Happy New Year to all of you and God Bless!
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CAPTURING THE MOMENT: COUNTER-VUCA LEADERSHIP FOR 21ST CENTURY POLICING

What’s going on? Not All Wrong – But Not All Right

Crisis happens. Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), coined at the Army War College in the early 1990’s (Mack, et. al., 2015), is a sobering new reality for police officers and the communities they serve. In simple terms, VUCA is chaos. It falls on police to understand it, prepare for it, and minimize the disruptive and destabilizing effects of it. This article examines the concept of VUCA, and suggests how 21st Century police leaders who range from entry level to senior officers can personally be ready for VUCA and explore matrix solutions to local community problems before they become crises due to VUCA.

Police face unstable environments epitomized by tragic shootings which suggest they need new sets of tools and capabilities; one to build personal strength which combines the dual characters of guardian-servant, and another to understand how to build organizational strengths through individual, organizational and community efforts. We contend that this comes from developing police leaders from the first day on the job and understanding how to mobilize community social capital via matrix solutions to problems.

VUCA is especially problematic today due to media fueled crises. Birmingham Police Chief, A.C. Roper (2015) feels that police as a profession, has allowed popular culture to draft a narrative which is contrary to the amazing work that so many officers are doing everyday across this nation. Our question is, why? We ask, what can police leaders do to increase mutual trust and respect when VUCA influences and detracts from community relationships and effective policing?

Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2015/12/02/capturing-the-moment-counter-vuca-leadership-for-21st-century-policing/
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Police Psychology | Selective Memory

In police psychology, we need to have a pretty good understanding of memory in order to help cops deal with police stress.

Have you ever been accused of having selective memory? Has your spouse ever asked you to do something that slips your mind, and they accuse you of deliberately ignoring that task? Have you ever thought back on a relationship and remembered it differently than the reality? Buzzfeed recently made a video about this: one girl who was telling her friend how happy she had been when her ex-boyfriend had taken her on a hike and told her, “I love you” for the first time. The friend quickly reminded her that they had only made it to the entrance of the hike before the ex insisted they turn around, and he had actually said, “Love ya.”

It is very common for us to look back on events and remember them differently (“It was raining!” “No, it was sunny!”), or not remember things that happened to us at all! For some reason, the stories we tell tend to get better or worse each time we recount them. If you’ve ever fallen down and gotten a small scrape, chances are you told all your friends you got injured saving a dog from getting hit by a car. And then that you single-handedly lifted the car up in the air. And then you threw the car all the way down the street. Too much? Maybe. But that doesn’t change the fact that we all have the tendency to remember things inaccurately. Perhaps Paul Simon said it best in his song Kodachrome:

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together
For one night
I know they’d never match
My sweet imagination
Everything looks worse
In black and white.

Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2015/11/27/police-psychology-selective-memory/
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New Study Reveals what Puts Officers at Risk Behind the Wheel 

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about the hardships and tragedies that police officers face, simply because they choose to protect the public. Most people are now familiar with the Texas shooting of Deputy Goforth, who served the Harris County Sheriff’s Department for 10 years before being mindlessly gunned down while refueling his vehicle. He, and 105 others, have lost their lives so far this year, while in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. With dui cases you can easily see how it could have been prevented however in cases like Goforth’s, it’s difficult to imagine a method of prevention. Aside from mental health services, that might have kept the shooter off the street, there is little more that could have stopped this senseless, brutal act. We may not have a solution to pointless killings yet, but we do have data on what causes more officer deaths than gunfire.

Vehicular Deaths Outnumber Shootings 42 to 33

So far this year, 2 officers died as a result of accidental gunfire, and 31 were intentionally murdered at gunpoint. For comparison:

26 died in car accidents
3 died in motorcycle accidents
5 were struck by vehicles and killed
4 died in vehicle pursuits
4 were victims of fatal vehicular assault
Understanding the Circumstances of Previous Vehicular Deaths May Keep You Alive

The non-profit research company, Rand, released a new study that looked into the risk-factors associated with officer-involved vehicular deaths and injuries. The data used in the research came from 16 local, county, and state law enforcement agencies over a one-year period, and includes 854 incidents.

Most accidents occur during routine driving conditions. Although most people would expect to see an uptick in collisions when officers are en route with sirens and lights, the opposite is true. Researchers discovered that 80% of non minor crashes occurred when officers drove without lights or sirens. More than 70% of them occurred during routine driving.

Speed doesn’t increase risk of injury, but attending to an emergency issue does. Officers who are headed to an emergency call, with or without lights and sirens, are three-to-four times more-likely to be injured in a collision.

Some officers still aren’t buckling up. Sadly, several officers included in the study failed to wear a seatbelt. This increases the likelihood of injury as much as threefold.

The rate of injury goes up exponentially when officers ride motorcycles. Compared to officers who ride in cars, the chances of being injured are five-times greater, and the risk is ten-times higher versus those in sport utility vehicles.

Officers are safer when they have a partner in the car. Having another officer in the vehicle cuts the risk of injury roughly in half, though having a non-officer companion increases the chances of being injured in an incident.

A considerable amount of incidents occur when an officer’s vehicle is stationary. Approximately 30% of injury-causing incidents occur when an officer is not in motion. Across the board, these incidents account for about 25% of collisions, including injury-causing and minor.

Putting the Problem in Perspective

As noted earlier, there have been 42 vehicular deaths so far this year, and 33 gun-related deaths. Heart attacks are the third-greatest cause of death in the line of duty, taking the lives of 17 officers so far. Last year, there were 51 deaths related to vehicles, 49 related to gunfire, and 18 heart attacks. The trend continues on.

Keys to Staying Safe

Experts believe that in order to keep officers safer, more sport utility vehicles should be used, and those on-duty should not travel solo whenever possible. The use of motorcycles should also be restricted. On an individual level, officers are strongly encouraged to wear their seat belts, and to exercise additional vigilance while traveling to an emergency call.

The data collected by Rand seems to be on par with the stats for this year’s toll so far. Although no statistics involving at-fault parties is readily available, it’s clear that officers are not usually responsible for injury-causing collisions. However, being aware of the risk factors, taking steps to mitigate them, and remaining hypervigilant while behind the wheel may help reduce the overall number of vehicle-related incidents. Unfortunately, the necessary tools of the trade can turn deadly, if not properly managed, and the vehicles driven by officers, as well as civilians, are the greatest risk for those in the line of duty today.

Read More: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2015/11/15/new-study-reveals-what-puts-officers-at-risk-behind-the-wheel/
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Law Enforcement Today (LET) is administered and owned by law enforcement officers.  We embrace law enforcement personnel, sworn and unsworn, as well as retired LEOS and civilian supporters. LET uses the experience of  the law enforcement community to meet the challenges ahead of us.  We publish first-hand accounts of how officers have successfully faced adversity or practiced excellence in law enforcement.   LET strives to provide cutting-edge articles and information from subject matter experts in many law enforcement disciplines.  We offer a chance to network with like-minded members of the law enforcement family.  LET is not corporately owned, but exists for law enforcement by law enforcement. www.lawenforcementtoday.com
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