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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in the opinions of the forum members on the subject of Stress on the job, how to recognize it and handle it.

I would like to reachout to fellow members of law enforcement in my local police agencies about stress on the job and how to take care of if and yourself before your no longer on the job. Here is my problem as I see it. When in the academy there was a 4 hour segement taught about stress and I remember the Rolling eyes of my classmates at the instructor emotionally delivered his own personal account of stress on the job and what it did to him. Rolling eyes, yawns and It will never happen to me comments. Lets not even talk about the Alpha male mentality that deplores weakness and anyone that shows weakness. In my experience there have been quite a few unexpected alpha male fellow officers that have confided in me of their problems with stress and how they handled it.

How would you all suggest that local officers be approached on the availability to talk, one on one, discreetly, without department knowledge in a coffeshop or pool hall about traumatic events to debrief and get it off their chest before it turns into something more malignant and endangers the job they love. I know for myself if anyone had said anything about stress on the job I would of said ya right thats only for mental cases. I know better now and I would like to get the word out. I am just not sure how to do it or if I should bother.
 
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If your dept dosn't have a stress officer, you could ask around for a dept that has one and they could set you in the right direction. You can also talk things out with your close friends on the dept. If a critical incident happens ask each other "are you ok" for the next month or so.
 

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I would have to agree, talking about it to someone who understands what it's like is usually a good thing. My department has about 15 professional psychologists that work specifically with us to deal with stress and other duty related incidents.

If some of your smaller departments can't afford to have a professional psychologist, then maybe someone can take the initiative and start a support group for folks to do some talking.

As for major incidents that happen while you're on the job, there should ALWAYS be a debrief afterward, whether it be right after the incident or the next working day. My department has debriefs all the time for two reasons: One for the tactical aspects of what just happend and what could have been done better, and two, to make sure everyone at scene is ok.

I've been through quite a through "traumatic" incidents in my time on the job, feel free to let me know if you have something I can help with.
 

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In Gardner MA is a place called the Onsite Academy.
It looks like a regular home on the far side of town... but its run by a guy named Hayden Duggan. He and his staff run workshops and debriefings for Officers and other EMS workers who have been through tough times.
We went there when we lost an officer on the department... some guys stopped in time to time to vent about different things...
Many many police, fire and ems connected with 9-11 spend time there as well.

If anyone wants contact info - just let me know :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I want to thank you all for you private messages with ideas and discussion.
 

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I think it is good to talk to family who are interested and care. You can't keep it inside even though you think you can handle it all. I never thought anything would bother me,I really did. I showed up for work (at the jail) everyday, dealt with tons of shit day in and day out. I even went through a riot where I saw my friend get thrown through a window and fall to the ground in blood.
The end result, at 30yrs old I was on BP pills.
Talk, talk, talk....and I think the best people to take to is your better half.
 
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