Cover photo
Law Enforcement
642 followers|450,070 views



I am also a husband, father, son and brother. And a Police Officer.
As I write this, tomorrow will be my 47th birthday. It will also be my one year anniversary of sobriety, and the beginning of a new life for me and my family. I feel very fortunate to be here today to share my story.
As a kid, I grew up in a troubled home. My father is a mentally disabled veteran and an alcoholic. My mother worked very hard to try to keep things together. I have one sister that is seven years younger.

Read More Here
Add a comment...
I have become disgusted with what is happening in the world today concerning law enforcement, and I now feel the need to speak out. Specifically, I am sick of the constant drone of progressive and activist voices blaming police officers for the ills of society and constantly complaining about us as individuals, about our training, and about those who train us. I have had my fill of the narrative that is built upon false premises and untrue allegations. Most troubling of it all relates to use of force. The misinformation that is distributed concerning the false reality of use of force and the screams of excessive force has become overwhelming and very few academics or those with academic “cred” are speaking out. The only voices we seem to hear are those who dislike the police and are more than willing to use their fancy degrees and other credentials to support their bizarre and totally misdirected ideas about policing and use of force dynamics.
As the debate rages concerning police use of force, an interesting new approach has been presented and is heavily being pushed by progressives within and outside the police world. This new approach decries the warrior mindset model and the militaristic aspects of police training and encourages a more passive, slow, and reasoned approach to conflicts on the street. Training concepts that focus on anticipating threat cues, watchful vigilance, swift neutralization of threats, active pursuit, and a “don’t back down attitude” are now accused of being the culprit for excessive use of force. Rather, new ideas are being proposed that focus on training concepts such as retreat, slowing down responses, avoiding violent confrontations, and increasing verbal de-escalation skills. Under terms such as “21st century policing”, “blue courage”, and “guardians”, progressive minds are actively working to try and fix what they believe to be inappropriate training of officers. In their narrative, the police are to blame for use of force incidents. Never mind the active resistance of subjects which most often leads to force, the increasing disdain for the law and law enforcement, the fact that fewer services exist for the mentally ill than I can ever recall in my lifetime, or that minority populations lack opportunities for jobs and/or economic prosperity. No, it’s much easier to blame the police.
Read More:…/09/25/a-cop-doc-speaks/
Law Enforcement Today is a leading law enforcement community by law enforcement officials, for law enforcement officials.
Add a comment...

Project Lifesaver International is pleased to announce a partnership with Station House Retreat. Both organizations missions are specific to supporting law enforcement and first responders to protect and save lives.

The Station House facility and program is specifically designed to address the needs of first responders with substance addiction. It’s the only program designed and administered by first responders for first responders.

Project Lifesaver is the most widely used and effective program in the nation that is specifically designed to protect “Special Needs” populations in our communities. Project Lifesaver has trained thousands of first responders and public safety agencies, not only in search, rescue and the use of our electronic locating equipment, but also in the methods necessary to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease, Autism or a related cognitive disorder.

Project Lifesaver’s CEO & Founder, Chief Gene Saunders, said "This partnership is between two organizations that work to provide law enforcement the tools and information to better serve their communities, families, and themselves. It is a perfect fit!"
Both Project Lifesaver and Station House Retreat address communities that have cognitive conditions and both provide the tools needed to address their safety and protection.
"We are extremely honored and proud to announce our partnership with Project Lifesaver. Project Lifesaver and Station House share a common mission, helping people and saving lives," said Cpt. Robert Greenberg, Law Enforcement Consultant, Station House Retreat.

About Station House Retreat: 
The Station House Retreat is an innovative substance addiction treatment center that is specifically geared toward helping first responders with substance addictions. The Station House provides a supportive environment specific to first responders with addictions. Station House provides those first responders affected by substance addictions with the tools and treatment they need to return to their communities and continue their careers of public service without life altering consequences.

About Project Lifesaver: 
Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C) (3) community based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, other first responders and caregivers with equipment and training to quickly locate and rescue individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, and Down syndrome. To date Project Lifesaver agencies have conducted nearly 4,000 successful rescues. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for Project Lifesaver clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations. Nationwide there are over 1,400 Project Lifesaver agencies throughout 48 states, six provinces in Canada, and Australia.
Add a comment...
Often times when we think of someone with a Mental Health issue, we think they’re done. The person will never be the same. We perceive that individual as a lost soul that nobody can help. In the firefighter world it’s even worse. We’re suppose to be tough as nails. We aren’t suppose to struggle with these issues. We all wear the profession like a badge of honor. “Hard Core Firefighter” “Devil Slayer” and the many other slogans we read on the shirts. We can handle anything but what happens when we can’t. Our brains are much more complex then just a steel nail or water for the fire. Mental health issues arrive in everyone and yes I’m going to say it “Even Firefighters!”
What can we do so we don’t fall down the trap and allow the mental health issues to consume us? Can these problems be managed and we still stay on the job? If we recognize the signs and take immediate action the answer is yes we can. Why wouldn’t we want to get what’s going on looked at right away.? The repeated trauma firefighters see on a daily basis is going to play a toll on anyone. The ones that make it through are the ones that get help for their issues right away so it doesn’t end up being their fate. Knowing the early warning signs is a great first step in getting help, whatever the problem may be.
Warning Signs from
Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others.
An unusual drop in functioning, especially at school or work, such as quitting sports, failing in school, or difficulty performing familiar tasks.
Problems with concentration, memory, or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain.
Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations.
Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity; apathy.
A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality.
Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult.
Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling.
Uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior.
Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or deterioration in personal hygiene.
Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings or “mood swings.”
If you’re noticing one or more of these symptoms it may be time to reach out for help. Getting to the problem early will put you ahead of the game and back to a healthy recovery. A simple weekly session with a therapist will be much better than a stay at the psychiatric hospital or even worse the suicide that often times follows. Ignoring the symptoms of a mental health issue will only make it worse. We pre plan for fires so why don’t we preplan for our mental health.
There are many resources available for departments these days. When I was coming up in the department there wasn’t much of anything. Now finally we’re starting to see that change. From help lines, trainings, blog, websites and the many other programs that are available to you and your department. Just searching the Internet for firefighter mental health will put a flood of information at your fingertips. Taking advantage of what’s available doesn’t make you any less of a firefighter then your partner sitting next to you. Utilize the resources and you’ll have a long and healthy career. Ignore the signs and symptoms and it’s only a matter of time before you lose your loved ones, career or even worse your life.
We can all make a difference if combating this problem. Make it a goal of yours to include one mental health article on your training board every month. Look out for your partner when you notice something is not right. Talk to your chief about bringing one of the many excellence mental health or behavioral health trainers in to do a class. We all have a job on the fire ground. Make mental health someone’s job at the department.
N.V.F.C Member Assistance Program:
Life Safety Initiative 13:
Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance:
Firefighters Support Foundation:
Federation of Fire Chaplains:
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation:
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation:
The Code Green Campaign:
National Volunteer Fire Council:
Share The Load Program:…/share-the-load-support-program-for-fire-a…
Firefighter Close Calls:

Mark Lamplugh Jr. is a fourth generation firefighter and former captain with the Lower Chichester (PA) Fire Company. He is now the Sr. Vice President of Business Development with Station House Retreat. He is nationally recognized in Crisis Stress Intervention through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Lamplugh has placed and referred hundreds of firefighters, police officers, EMS personal and civilians nationwide. He can be reached for comment at…/articleid/5028/down-but-no…
Steve Larson's profile photo
Add a comment...
"WELCOME TO BLUE IRON CLOTHING, YOUR NEWEST LAW ENFORCEMENT CLOTHING STORE.  With each purchase, you will be supporting the MECA Wisconsin Police Canine Vest Foundation"
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
642 people
The May Firm's profile photo
Ron Gordon's profile photo
East Orange New Jersey Police Department * E- Online Product Deals *'s profile photo
Reality Apparel's profile photo
Phillip LeConte's profile photo
Dan homebrewer's profile photo
Legal Notebooks for Field Notes's profile photo
Juante Lucas's profile photo
The Boogie Man Is My Friend's profile photo
Pride Kept Me from Reaching Out for Help | Station House
Police Officer, Shift Supervisor
Ontario, Canada Provincial Police
As a police officer, we are hired for our Type A personalities. Within the sub-culture, we can quickly believe that we are “invincible” and don’t dare show vulnerability or mental illness. Canadian statistics show that 1 in 5 of us will suffer from a mental illness in our lifetime.
Thank you Peggy Sweeney, Don Prince and the Station House Retreat team for allowing me to contribute to their blog site. My story isn’t very different from many others in emergency services. Anyone working in the fire, medical or policing professions will see some horrific sights in their careers. Over time, some may become affected by the jobs that they are entrusted and expected to perform. That doesn’t make them weak or less than anyone else. It makes them human and for reasons yet to be clearly proven; some will become afflicted with an Operational Stress Injury. This is my story and a plea to never allow false pride to keep you from reaching out for help if you need it.
I come from a family of police officers. My father was a police officer in Montreal and my uncle retired as a deputy chief. My brother was a police officer in Belleville. I have been around policing most of my life. I am all too familiar with the “suck it up, buttercup” attitude toward horrible scenes encountered.
On January 19 2002, I supervised the scene and subsequent investigation of a motor vehicle collision involving the deaths of a mother, her four children and dogs. The lone survivor and driver was the husband. He appeared to have driven his vehicle onto the roadway from the shoulder directly into the path of a transport trailer. The images of the mother and her baby thrown outside of the vehicle and the three children in the back seat of their van were burned into my memory.
Our investigative team knew that there was more to the story. Our team worked very hard in gathering evidence. I had a couple of supervisors who were putting pressure upon me to wrap the case up. It was a high profile case and there was intense scrutiny from the public with many saying that the husband had suffered enough. He was eventually charged and convicted of dangerous driving. The judge commended our team for a thorough and detailed investigation. Nonetheless, justice was never properly served in my opinion. I started waking up every morning at 3:30 a.m. during the investigation and could not go back to sleep. My drinking and risky behaviors began to increase.
On January 19, 2004, I was assigned to establish and supervise the temporary morgue for 10 victims of the Georgian Express Air crash off of Pelee Island. I had a psychologist assigned to assist me in dealing with the families in the most appropriate way. It took over two weeks to find the bodies by the Canadian Coast Guard and Ontario Provincial Police Dive team. We convoyed the remains to a secure location for the bodies and the aircraft wreckage.
The pilot and his girlfriend were enmeshed with the cockpit and plane parts and took a significant amount of time to “recover” from the wreckage. The remaining men were hunters involved in the annual Pelee Island pheasant hunt. They were all attired in camo gear and their bodies were frozen in the positions caused by the plane’s impact into Lake Erie. It was bitterly cold that winter. I removed the bodies from the truck and handed them one by one to Fire Rescue personnel on site. We had to wake up store owners in order to secure propane heaters to help quickly thaw the bodies out so that they could be laid prone covered up for their families to see.
As can be well imagined, the bodies were pretty disfigured and some were worse than others. The families needed some closure before the victims were transported to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto for autopsy purposes. Working in concert with the Body Removal Service, we prepared the bodies for individual family viewing. One of the victim’s brothers was adamant that he wanted to see him. Unfortunately, his brother had suffered the most impact to his skull and was severely damaged. I told this man who I had a brother as well and I would not want my last memory of him to be that image. He insisted that he wanted to see his brother’s face. Once more I cautioned him that once he saw that image, he would never forget it. Again, he insisted and I pulled the sheet back to reveal his brother’s face. The man’s face went instantly white and he stumbled back. He was clearly shaken by the experience. Little did I know that the image was also burned on my “C” drive forever as well. I hadn’t expected that to happen. One of the hardest parts of assisting the families was hearing the wails of mothers, wives and daughters when they were finally able to be with their loved ones. There is nothing more heart wrenching for me than to hear that cry of a mother who has lost a child. I have heard it too many times in my career.
My drinking and abuse of prescription pills increased. I found myself becoming more short-tempered with little patience for bureaucracy and incompetence. I challenged supervisors and commanders at meetings on anything that I thought was a waste of time or impacting upon operational effectiveness. There are some aspects of the plane crash and dangerous driving incidents that I cannot discuss because of my oath and the Privacy Act. What I can say is that there were parts of those investigations that were extremely frustrating and unjust. That slowly became my trigger: injustice. I had zero tolerance for bullies to begin with, but it only magnified when faced with dictatorial supervisors. I went from a highly decorated and respected officer to a malfeasance. I protected my team as often as possible and did some good work in those years, but I was tortured by the nightmares and flashbacks of those images.
In July 2006, I went overseas for 6 months and taught Iraqi police officers. My self-medicating off duty was every day now. I needed to get enough booze/drugs into me so that I could sleep at night without the damned terrors. I told myself when I came home I was going to clean myself up once and for all and start over. The addict’s self-promise. I got drunk on the plane ride back to Toronto when returning to Canada.
The nightmares were really bad and my children took turns having to wake me up for work because of my violent reactions to being suddenly awakened. In March of 2006, I entered into the Homewood Health Centre addictions program where I was first diagnosed with PTSD. After a month in rehab, I stayed another 2 months in the PTSD ward of Homewood.
I returned to work and threw myself into the job again. If I couldn’t sleep, I went into work and other officers would see me at my desk at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I was being groomed to become the second in charge and had a tremendous opportunity. This was only a temporary fix, because the symptoms were still very much alive and well. I relapsed under the self-imposed pressures that I put on myself and lost the opportunity. Now my anger was through the roof. I began using booze and/or pills daily.
In March 2011, I was the supervisor on scene of a nasty suicide where a man blew the top of his head off with a .30.30 rifle. He had been looking after the home of his estranged wife who was vacationing in the states with her new lover and this man’s ex-best friend. Other officers had been to the house before for a domestic occurrence and the man was charged and all weapons removed from the home. He was placed on conditions including non-consumption of alcohol, not to possess any weapons/firearms and to stay away from his spouse and their matrimonial home. Shortly after this incident, the man was asked by his estranged wife to watch the house and dog while she and his former best friend vacationed down south. The man’s nephew went to check on his uncle when no one had heard from him in a week. The scene was horrific. His brain and cranial matter were spread all over the bedroom into the hallway and part of an adjacent bedroom. The dog had no food or way out. I will leave the rest to your imagination. This poor dog was shaking so badly I picked him up and held him while I accompanied the coroner as he did his business. The victim was an ex-biker that I had followed around once in a while in the Intelligence unit. When I saw him that night, he was dressed in camouflage gear and it took me right back to the Georgian Express plane crash. After the scene was cleared, the home secured, the detectives gone and my team back out on the road; I sat in my patrol car and cried uncontrollably. Nothing made sense and the unfairness of the situation sparked an emotional breakdown. My life was a mess and this was the end. I was being disciplined at work for inappropriate behavior. I was in an unhealthy relationship and I just didn’t want to live anymore.
At the insistence of my then partner, I booked off sick and applied for WSIB (Workers’ Safety and Insurance Board) benefits. I was in crisis by this point and spent most of my days curled up in a ball paralyzed in my darkened bedroom. The Association was trying to get me back into Homewood and my doctor thought I should be in the local psychiatric ward until I could get back into a PTSD program. It took almost four months to get me into Homewood. I had stopped taking antidepressants that I had been on for many years cold turkey, and was living out of my truck. The whole process of being admitted, getting benefits and my pay sorted out was a nightmare. Not one of my supervisors came to see me in the almost 6 months I was in Homewood. I received a few cards from fellow officers and friends in the beginning, but that quickly waned. I felt completely abandoned as one Metro Toronto Emergency Services officer with PTSD said in an interview.
I was released from hospital in December 2011 and quickly relapsed with booze and drugs again. I absolutely detested going into work and called in sick often to facilitate my addictive behaviors.
On the morning of January 19th, 2012, my partner confronted me and told me that she knew I had used the night before. I couldn’t lie to her. I was told to leave her home shortly afterward and now had absolutely nothing. No furniture, no home, no money, no family, no friends and absolutely NO hope! A friend of mine from a recovery program reached out to me and let me stay at his home until I could find an apartment. I had never felt as low as I did at this point in my life. Now I was committed to ending my life. I was newly clean and really struggling with the PTSD symptoms.
By the grace of Creator, the help of many, many people; January 19th now symbolizes hope and healing to me. I don’t hide from January 19th now. I celebrate it. This January, I celebrated three years of sobriety. I continue to see a neuropsychologist every two to three weeks and she has literally saved my life.
barricade clipped _2
As a police officer, we are hired for our Type A personalities. Within the sub-culture, we can quickly believe that we are “invincible” and don’t dare show vulnerability or mental illness. Canadian statistics show that 1 in 5 of us will suffer from a mental illness in our lifetime.
Yet as cops, we think that we are immune to that. Considering the daily bursts of stress and effects of long-term exposure that we face, I find it ironic that we believe that mental illness and yes, that includes alcoholism/addiction, are things that only happen to the citizens that we serve.
PRIDE kept me from reaching out for help. After all, at work I was supposed to have it all together and the same applied at home. I was very good at leading complex scenes and events and even I came to believe that I had to have the answers and control or things would get awry.
The gift of dual recovery is indescribable. I haven’t had a flashback in quite a while and the nightmares have been subsiding with the help of medication. My family is back in my life and I am active in a recovery program helping others who also help me. I tried to return to work, but after 8 months and being re-triggered a few times, my doctor instructed me to take more time off. I have just under a year until retirement and have no idea what the future holds for me, but taking life a day at a time and staying present helps. I have returned to school and am in my second year of a Chemical Dependency Counselor program at my local college.
I believe that my PTSD was cumulative in nature because PRIDE kept me from seeking assistance early on. I know that my experiences on and off of the job helped to build up the internal pressure. The 2002 incident was the catalyst. The 2004 plane crash added significantly more pressure and the 2011 suicide pushed me over the edge.
The stigma associated with mental illness/PTSD continues and is particularly prominent within policing and emergency services circles. Many think that officers off on Occupational Stress are faking their injuries to avoid work and to get time off. We show more compassion to the public that we serve than we do for our peers and colleagues. I believe that PTSD is like some forms of cancer. If caught early, the recovery/remission/healing rates are much higher. Untreated, PTSD is no less progressive or fatal than cancer.
In fact, in my organization we have had 23 known suicides committed by our members while 21 were killed by perpetrators or in collisions since 1989.
These are the obvious cases of suicide. We have not been keeping formal statistics until recently at the suggestion of the Ombudsman’s report into the Ontario Provincial Police and Occupational Stress Injuries. How many others committed suicide on the “installment plan” slowly drinking/drugging themselves to death? I know of too many.
We spend millions of dollars training our people how to protect others and ourselves from physical harm, we train to respond to emergencies and re-qualify with our firearms. We have spent almost nothing on teaching ourselves proven methods and techniques to keep ourselves mentally healthy. If the “Command Post” goes, the rest of the body goes with it. Emergency Services personnel are responsible for the lives of others. If they are not totally focused and present, the public and our members are at risk. The stigma and culture have to change and it has to start within.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience and for your advocacy. Pride in ourselves and our organizations are healthy and important. False PRIDE kills. Please don’t become another statistic. Help is available and the sooner you reach out for it, the sooner you can heal and return to a productive and healthy life.
About the Author: Jimmy Thomas served as a police officer for 38 years, eight and a half years military police and almost thirty years with the Ontario, Canada Provincial Police (OPP). Throughout his career he worked uniform patrol duties, criminal investigations, intelligence, drug squad and served on many joint forces investigations. He is currently assigned to the Essex County OPP detachment, not far from Detroit, Michigan, as shift supervisor.
Please Share This…/
Add a comment...
I’m writing this letter to you boldly and stepping outside of my comfort zone to give you an important message. I hope that you will listen. In the past couple of weeks my State of Connecticut has lost two good, well-respected and beloved LEOs to suicide. I feel like I could scream!
You see, I’m a widow who has lost her police officer husband to suicide on March 12, 2013. You may have heard about my husband East Hartford Police Officer Paul S. Buchanan, #208, and his story (“Believe 208”) as I have shared it openly and honestly with a mission and passion to help all law enforcement officers who may be struggling as my husband was.
The part that you may not have heard me talk much about is how much I struggle daily with his loss to suicide – how much I hurt. I am suffering. We are all suffering – my two amazing sons, my husband’s 92 year old mother, his siblings, our relatives, neighbors and friends.
There are times I can’t even imagine how his fellow East Hartford Police Department officers feel and how they felt the day he died. They held him and watched him die. We miss him; we are angry with him at times; mostly we hurt because of his death by suicide. My tears flow daily. All of us who knew and loved Paul were changed in an instant and not for the better. Lives were broken the day Paul died. The hurt that remains behind is unbelievable. Day by day we struggle. Daily I pray and ask God to help me find a way to get out of bed, put a smile on my face and begin another day. What was supposed to be the best years of my life and my sons’ lives is now over. It will never be the same.
READ MORE:…/dear-officer-please-d…/
Josh M's profile photoBrigitte Youman's profile photo
Josh M
For my fellow brother and sisters among the blue. We arise during this chaos and protect those who are blind. We are the sheepdogs at the front line. We are the ones who protect the flock even though this evil seems to never end. We are risers, push come to shoves, we will become fighters. We will not break, we will no fear, for the good Lord is always near. We fight the good fight until the Lord calls us home. Out hearts are right, so we will not be alone. I stand shedding not a tear. I look chaos in the eyes with the strength of the good Lord and my brother and sisters near. If my 21 gun ring out for my last day my last words will be as I pray, I stood my ground, scared but not backing down, for I am a sheepdog and forever proud, to wear my badge and work beside those, who have fallen in this chaos blast. You might have made us question rather will this ever end, but I will stand up for the face of Men. The face of those sheep I sworn to protect, and my Angle Saint Michael hangs from my neck, this sheepdog won't take his life, but forever I'll protect and do what's right.
Add a comment...
The Station House is a program designed to address the needs
of first responders with substance addiction.
Add a comment...
The Station House is a program designed to address the needs of first responders with substance addiction. The Station House offers a supportive environment solely to first responders with addictions. The program combines clinical and residential programs.
CALL 855-995-6798
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
642 people
The May Firm's profile photo
Ron Gordon's profile photo
East Orange New Jersey Police Department * E- Online Product Deals *'s profile photo
Reality Apparel's profile photo
Phillip LeConte's profile photo
Dan homebrewer's profile photo
Legal Notebooks for Field Notes's profile photo
Juante Lucas's profile photo
The Boogie Man Is My Friend's profile photo
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.
Contact Information
Contact info