Today’s police officers live in a perpetual state of combat. This state, referred to as “hypervigilance,” is a physiological condition that cannot be stopped or fully mitigated. It is hardwired into our most basic “fight-or-flight” instincts. When it is understood, it can be a powerful advantage for our peacekeepers, but when it is not, it may be their biggest killer.
Incorporating important information presented in “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: A guide for Officers and Their Families” by Kevin M. Gilmartin, Ph.D., this informal open-forum class explores the emotional and psychological changes experienced by all police officers as they progress through their careers.
This class explores:
- The changes that take place in the way officers see their worlds, their jobs, their relationships, and even their families
- The physical effects of hypervigilance and the emotional changes that can result
- Strategies to help ourselves and our loved ones on both sides of the badge
- The stresses specific to female officers and officers of differing ethnicities, backgrounds, heritages, and beliefs
By better understanding hypervigilance and its effects and offering training to both officers and their families, it is our hope that we can prepare and insulate our officers and their families from this caustic environment, allowing them to not only survive but to also thrive in the world in which they live.