According to the book description of On the Edge: Recent Perspectives
on Police Suicide, “In this book, the authors extend their academic research and knowledge on the subject
to a national level. Two of the authors, who have personally dealt with the aftermath of suicide, add a realistic description
of what it is like to be “on the edge.” Violanti is a former NY State trooper and is now the nation's foremost
researcher on police suicide. Andy O'Hara, a California Highway Patrol sergeant who survived a near suicide
and describes the feelings and pain he felt during that crisis period, and Teresa Tate, whose husband died by suicide, will
add immeasurably to the understanding of this problem.
Chapter One discusses police suicide rates and the ongoing controversy that surrounds
this area of research. In Chapter Two, the authors describe two in-depth analyses of national police suicide rates. Chapter
Three is based on a conceptual model of the career span of a police officer and trauma within that span that may exacerbate
conditions for suicide. Chapter Four presents a discussion of factors that may help to protect police officers from suicide.
In Chapter Five, Andy O'Hara discusses his own journey to the edge and how such
decisions may come about in police officers. In Chapter Six, Andy O'Hara presents a description of his newly developed program,
“Badge of Life,” which seeks to “depower” police trauma and, instead, “empower” the officer.
In doing so, they will be prepared not only for stress but for trauma before it occurs and know what to do when it does. In
Chapter Seven, the aftereffects of suicide are explored and how police support can help to ameliorate psychological distress
and trauma associated with an officer’s death. Teresa Tate, founder and leader of the survivor group S.O.L.E.S. (Survivors
of Law Enforcement Suicide), presents actual cases of police survivors derived from her personal interviews with these survivors.
In the final chapter, the authors conclude with a description and critical analysis of present programs for police suicide
prevention. Law enforcement practitioners, researchers and therapists, as well as police Organizational policymakers, will
benefit from the discussions presented in this book.”
Dr. James D. Harris has a doctorate in psychology,
which he earned while working full-time as a Deputy Sheriff for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His has 28 years of law enforcement experience, including almost three years experience as the director
of the peer counseling program for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
According to his book description, “The
Hands of the Carpenter is an invaluable survival guide for police officers, whose occupation subjects them to endless
hours of tedium and monotony, periodically interrupted by moments of sheer terror.”
D. Sewell served as the first director of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute.
James Sewell began his law enforcement career with the Florida State University Department of Public Safety, leaving
at the rank of Lieutenant, and supervisor of the Support Services Section, which included the Crime Prevention Unit.
joined the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 1980, leaving in December 1982 to go to the Department of Highway Safety
and Motor Vehicles where he served as the Director of the Office of Management and Planning Services until March, 1986 when
he was appointed Chief of Police in the City of Gulfport, Florida until August, 1990, serving his last nine months in Gulfport
as Acting City Manager for this City of 12,000 residents. Dr. Sewell returned to FDLE as the Director of the Florida Criminal
Justice Executive Institute on September 1, 1990. Dr. Sewell retired as the Assistant
Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Support Services division in 2005.
James Sewell holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D., all in Criminology from The Florida State University. His dissertation research was
in the area of law enforcement stress. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and is a graduate of the
FBI National Academy and the FCJEI Chief Executive Seminar. James Sewell is the
co-author of Stress Management in Law Enforcement
and Controversial Issues in Policing.
to the book description of Stress Management
in Law Enforcement, “The newly revised second edition of Stress Management in Law Enforcement by Dr. Leonard Territo and Dr. James Sewell is once again a carefully
selected collection of the leading articles on stress and its consequences for police personnel. This edition, incorporating
new and relevant material, comprises nine sections which cover the following topics: What is Stress All About?; What Does
Stress Mean for Cops?; Are There Ways We Can Tell It's There?; What Are Some of the Bad Effects of Stress on Cops?; How Does
Stress Impact a Cop's Family Life?; How Does the Worst of the Worst Affect Cops?; What Are the Tools That a Cop Can Use to
Better Handle Stress?; What Support is Available for Cops? and How Can the Bosses Better Help Their Cops?
summary precedes each section to assist the reader in readily identifying articles which might be of particular interest.
Each article contains end-of-chapter discussion questions which are answered in detail in the instructor's manual. The sections
are also accompanied by a glossary of terms and a list of additional recommended readings.
will specifically interest the criminal justice academic community as an adjunctive resource in police management courses
or as the primary text in upper division seminars on the topic of police stress management. This book will also be of considerable
interest to police administrators and officers who must deal on a daily basis with the negative side effects of stress. Stress
Management in Law Enforcement is relevant for police administrators as well as police psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors,
social workers, and other mental health professionals who are called upon to provide guidance and assistance to police officers.”
Shadows of the Badge
This site is dedicated to the
men and women of law enforcement who have dedicated their lives to protect and serve.
We have all been trained on how to deal with the problems of others and to handle the worst people in society, but
we receive very little to no training on how to handle our own problems and to deal with the changes in our lives caused by
the law enforcement career. I have been to the edge and thought that there was
no one who understood and that there was no way out but to end it all. Thankfully
a friend appeared in time to stop me from doing the unthinkable. As Police Officers,
we live our lives and say that it will never happen to us. I am here to tell
you, that no matter who you are it can happen. Without awareness training and
education, it is much easier than one may think, and you don’t even see it coming.
Police Suicides and Stress related issues are things we “DON’T TALK ABOUT”. It’s Time We Start.
Law Enforcement Stress
All of the books listed on this page were written by cops about the stress of police
work. As you look through the titles you will notice that not only do the authors have tremendous practical experience,
but they also have stellar academic credentials.
Vincent E. Henry earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from
the City University of New York (John Jay), and is associate professor and director of Long Island University's Homeland Security
Management Institute. He earned B.A. and M.S. degrees from Long Island University
(C.W. Post Campus) and an M.Phil. degree from the City University of New York. A
first responder to the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack, Vincent retired from the New York Police Department in 2002
following a 21-year police career in which he served in a wide variety of uniformed and plainclothes patrol, undercover decoy,
training, investigative, supervisory and management assignments.
Vincent Henry is the author of numerous publications in the
fields of law enforcement management, police corruption and reform, psychological trauma, terrorism, and homeland security. His books include The COMPSTAT Paradigm: Management Accountability in Policing, Business and the Private Sector and Death Work: Police,
Trauma, and the Psychology of Survival.
Lieutenant Peter Pranzo
served as a New York Police Department police officer for 21 years. During his
career, he earned over 60 NYPD medals and awards including the Police Combat Cross and the Medal for Valor. As a lieutenant,
he was assigned to the elite NYPD Street Crime Unit where his team made 2000 felony arrests.
A frequent contributor to law enforcement related magazines, Peter Pranzo is the author of Stress Management for Law Enforcement.
According to the book
description, “this vital handbook covers stress and trauma associated with the law enforcement and criminal justice
professional. Includes: Anatomy of a Breaking Point; From Stress to Burn Out; Learning to Cope; Post Trauma; Cures, Rehabilitation
and Treatment; and Psychological Testing for Police Recruits in addition to related topics dealing with this growing problem.”
L. Ken Rogers is a 21 year veteran of law enforcement. He
is a medically retired from the Pleasant Ridge Police Department (Michigan). Ken
Rogers is the author of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Police Officers Report. According to the book description, “a police officer in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan was desperate and
wide open to emotional pain. On the outside he looked all right, but he wasn't. His post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms
were classic. He was emotionally ill. This book is a must for law enforcement agencies and personnel throughout the country.”
Darrell Graf is the former Chief of Police of the Medina Police Department (North Dakata). Darrell Graf graduated from the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Center in August of 1976. He holds
two patents on firefighting devices he invented.
Steve Schnabel is the former Colonel of the Medina Police Department (North Dakota). Steven Schnabel graduated from the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Center in April of 1981. He is
also a staff sergeant for the North Dakota Army National Guard of which he has been a member for over 19 years.
Darrell Graf and Steve Schabel are the authors of It's All About Power. According to the book description, “It's All About Power is a true and accurate eye witness account of the shoot-out
between Gordon Kahl and US Marshals at Medina, North Dakota in 1983.” Of
the book, Senator John DeCamp (Lincoln, NE) said, “There are many problems in America today. It's All About Power is
a stimulating account of the disaster at Medina, ND in 1983 which was the first in a series of similar shocking events that
have rocked our nation. I would highly recommend everyone from politicians to distressed farmers and government agents to
militia members read and learn from this fabulous book!”
Dr. Allen Koss, PhD (Sitting Bull College, Ft. Yates, ND) added, “The authors...have dealt with
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the past 16 years. This text should be a significant contribution to the education of other
law enforcement officers.”
Laurence Miller, PhD is a clinical, forensic, and police psychologist in Boca Raton Florida. He is the consulting psychologist for the West Palm Beach Police Department, a forensic psychological examiner
for the Palm Beach County Court, and a police trainer and instructor at the Police Academy-Criminal Justice Institute of Palm
Beach Community College. Dr. Laurence Miller is the author of numerous publications
in law enforcement journals, as well as nine books, including Practical Police Psychology: Stress Management and Crisis Intervention for Law Enforcement and the upcoming
book METTLE: Mental Toughness Training for
According to the book description of Practical Police Psychology: Stress Management and Crisis Intervention for Law Enforcement, it “addresses
the psychologically complex world of modern policing. It analyzes the unusual crises and everyday challenges faced by all
law enforcement personnel, from the street cop to the departmental brass. But Practical Police Psychology goes beyond mere
academic analysis, to offer usable, down-to-earth, and immediately applicable—that is, practical—guidelines and
recommendations for improving the quality of policing on a daily basis. Two major themes shape this book. The first is the
concept of community policing, which is becoming the model of local law enforcement in a growing number of jurisdictions.
To be effective in community policing, patrol officers must be practical psychologists.
The second theme is professionalism and how those in law enforcement share the role as competent decision
makers whose citizens they protect and serve expect them to meet the highest standards of education, training, and psychological
fitness. These two themes translate into two broad domains of policing where psychological knowledge and expertise can make
important contributions. One is the role of law enforcement behavioral science in operational assistance of police activities,
such as hostage negotiation, suicide-by-cop intervention, criminal profiling, suspect interrogation, and others. The second
domain has to do with cops taking care of themselves and dealing with problems within their own department, which includes
critical incident stress, post-shooting trauma, specialized psychotherapy for law enforcement officers, alcohol and substance
abuse problems and others. The result is a valuable and practical guidebook for law enforcement and behavioral science professionals
that will measurably enhance the performance of their departments and contribute to the success of community policing and
law enforcement professionalization.”
According to the book description of METTLE: Mental Toughness Training for Law Enforcement, “You've trained your
body for the rigors of police work. Now train your mind! Let a respected police psychologist teach you: The foundational principles
of effective stress management and crisis intervention. Strategies and techniques for building the "psychological body armor"
that will help you handle ordinary life stresses as well as life-and-death emergencies. How to survive the emotional aftermath
of a critical incident and get stronger.”
Dr. Daniel C. Rudofossi spent more than a decade as street cop and licensed psychologist conducting
research, ambulatory interventions, and assessments, with hundreds of police officers. Dr. Daniel Rudofossie is a Fellow in
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Albert Ellis Institute, and certified in Psychodynamics Psychotherapy, New York Psychoanalytic
Institute and Society; and Clinician Diplomate in Logotherapy, Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy.
Dr. Daniel C. Rudofossi has interviewed, assessed, and treated hundreds of officers in his extensive
clinical, treatment, and research experience as Uniform Psychologist/Police Sergeant, New York Police Department. Dr. Daniel
Rudofossi continues in his private practice to work with traumatized police officers, and he is an active police surgeon with
the NYC HRAPD, is a professor at NYU, and is on the Board of Advisors, Saybrook University, Clinical Police Psychology Ph.D.
Program. Dr. Daniel Rudofossi is the author of Working
With Traumatized Police-officer Patients: A Clinician’s Guide to Complex Ptsd Syndromes in Public Safety Professionals.
According to to Charles Brenner, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York,
Past President, American Psychoanalytic Association, Past President, New York Psychoanalytic Society, “Dr. Rudofossi's
comprehensive volume is intended for all those concerned with the care of psychologically traumatized workers in the field
of public safety. From the first page to the last, it engages the reader in a conversation with a learned and experienced
fellow therapist who is committed to his work and who has himself spent years as a police officer in New York City. The book
contains illuminating case histories and an extensive review of the pertinent literature. Its author exhibits an admirable
balance of enthusiasm and humility. He conveys to his readers how complex and difficult is the task to which he and they are
committed, without losing any of the optimism and determination that are necessary to overcome its difficulties.”
According to Vincent M. Mansfield, Commanding Officer, Medical Division, NYPD Retired Chief, NYPD,
“Dr. Dan Rudofossi's Working with Traumatized Police-Officer Patients is
thorough, clearly expressed, and, most important, sorely needed. His book will prove of great value to clinicians, police
administrators, and anyone concerned with learning about real trauma and its effect on law enforcement personnel. Because
he is both a street cop and so astute a clinician, Dr. Rudofossi was able to straddle an imposing gulf and secure the trust
of those he treated. This book is a rare piece of scholarship.”
Violanti is a respected faculty member of the Law Enforcement Wellness Association. Dr. Violanti conducts clinical research
on a host of law enforcement health and wellness issues for The University of Buffalo Department of Social and Preventative
Medicine. In addition to his research, Dr. Violanti has written and edited several books relating to law enforcement stress
and trauma including Police Suicide; Epidemic in Blue, Police Trauma, and Post Traumatic Stress Intervention. In addition
to his work with The University of Buffalo, John is an Associate Professor within the Department of Criminal Justice at the
Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
Violanti has "been there and done that." He retired after 22 years of dedicated service as a New York State Trooper. His knowledge
of the law enforcement culture and the stress and trauma experienced by law enforcement officers make his books and articles
must reading for those within the law enforcement profession.
In a review
of Violanti’s book, “Police Suicide: Epidemic in Blue,” the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin stated, “Does
living life inside a uniform put an individual at a higher risk for self-destruction? Perhaps, if its wearer becomes psychologically
unable to reach out for help or take help when offered. Individuals disguise depression, alcohol abuse, and personal fears
and demons easier than people realize, especially those individuals who are trained to keep their feelings out of sight. Recognizing
this, in the last chapter, the author discusses the needs of survivors of police suicide (i.e., spouses, children, fellow
officers, and friends). By tackling this delicate subject, the author proves that Pogo was wrong when he said, "There is no
problem too big you can't run away from it." The author's advice and direction in this area could help to ameliorate the complicated
bereavement and grief suffered by the survivors of suicide. This book deserves a wide audience, from police officers and their
families to police administrators and mental health professionals.”
Dell Hackett is a board certified expert in traumatic stress and a Diplomate member of the National
Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the American Board of Law Enforcement Experts. Dell was heavily involved in the
formation of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office’s critical incident de-briefing team and the peer support unit.
He has spoken on a national and international basis on topics relating to law enforcement stress, police suicide, and leadership
issues. Dell Hackett has been a requested speaker for several groups, both law enforcement and civilian, from around the nation.
Dell Hackett is the co-author of Police Suicide: Tactics for Prevention.
According to the book description of Police Suicide: Tactics for Prevention, “the range of information in this book is broad and offers strategies
and tactics that may help to prevent suicides. It was written by several skilled and caring professionals, and it was their
aim to give law enforcement officers, administrators, and mental health professionals additional information and skills in
dealing with law enforcement officers in crisis. It will be interesting and useful to those who would read it with the intention
of understanding this dilemma faced by law enforcement and who have a desire to continue the search for possible solutions.
The book contains far more than that which would usually come to mind concerning the subject of self-destructive behavior.
Its main focus concerns such diverse and very important areas as the police culture, the supervisor’s role in intervention,
departmental denial of the problem, getting officers to seek help, family issues, and survivor issues. All are intended to
get the reader closer to being able to identify officers who may be in harms way, offer solutions to those who seek help,
and hopefully prevent police suicides. Only recently has the identification of police stress and the subsequent counterproductive
behaviors been exposed and accepted within the culture. We have learned that the police occupation is different from all others
and that it is all right to be different. This new understanding may also provide a potential remedy for some of law enforcement’s
greatest ills: alcohol abuse, family abuse, and the subsequent consequences. It is the hope, therefore, that the information
in this book will prevent future suicides and even reverse the thinking that leads to such life-ending decisions. It is a
"must read" for law enforcement officers, probation and parole officers, supervisors, mental health professionals, educators,
criminal justice students and professors. It is complete and well researched; a cooperative effort, not a competitive one;
a journey of discovery and hope.”
Dr. Dennis L. Conroy
recently retired after over 30 years service with the Saint Paul Police Department (Minnesota). During his law enforcement career he worked a variety of assignments, including: Patrol Officer, Patrol
Supervisor, Vice/Narcotics Investigator, Director of Professional Development
Institute, Director of Field Training Program, Communications Center Supervisor, and Juvenile
Officer, Director of Employee Assistance Program.
In addition to this law
enforcement experience, he has 25 years of clinical experience includes working with children, adolescents, and adults. As
a psychologist, his specific areas of interest are stress management, trauma response, hypnosis and working with law enforcement
officers. Dennis Conroy is the author of Officers
According to one reader
of Officers at Risk, it “should
be required reading for anyone training for a career in law enforcement and also for department administrators. The last two
chapters explain how individuals and then departments can identify and manage stress related problems. For the individual,
it should speak for itself. For police departments and correctional institutions, it can deter many potential problems from
poor performance to costly and embarrassing lawsuits to suicides. I thank God that I was part of a department that in many
ways pioneered employee assistance in law enforcement, and in a state that recognizes the long-term effects that can occur.”
Lieutenant Eugene “Top”
Harris began his law enforcement career in 1987. He is a lieutenant on the Monterey
Park Police Department (California). Eugene “Top” Harris is the author
of The Zero Stress Zone: "A Layman's Guide
to Stress Management"
According to the book description, “This Layman's guide to stress management offers simple stress
reduction and avoidance techniques. We can utilize these techniques in our daily quest for a stress free environment. By introducing
zero stress as a mindset and not just a catch phrase, this book will help us get to that place I call the Zero Stress Zone.
As you will discover, it is so easy you might ask yourself why you need a book to get there. In the end however, if you ask
yourself that question, you will have gained an understanding of how simple stress management can really be.”
Peter S. Griffin, enlisted
in the U.S. Army on 13 March 1964 and was honorably discharged on 10 March 1967. His unit assignments were Company A, 2/502nd
Infantry, 101st Airborne Division and Company C, 2/505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division.
After discharge Peter Griffin
attended the Police Academy at Syracuse, New York and served as a Police Officer for the Oswego Police Department (New York)
for over ten years. Peter Griffin is the author of When You Hear The Bugle Call: Battling PTSD and the Unraveling of the American
to the book description of When You Hear The
Bugle Call: Battling PTSD and the Unraveling of the American Conscience, it “is a compelling, poignant and straightforward
presentation of sickness and healing, righteousness opposing wrong doing, and the eventual triumph of the human spirit despite
overwhelming obstacles and barriers. This very personal account of war and its aftermath was written to benefit combat veterans
agonized by severe and chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), composed by one who is living the nightmare, one of
their own, a fellow warrior. In the broader scope, this account is meant to help them, and their friends and loved ones to
better understand this overwhelming psychological, involuntary, and innate response to continual, life threatening situations.”
According to the book description of Police Suicide: Proactive Leadership and
Crisis Management Stratigies, "Researchers are beginning to analyse and address the police suicide enigma. This book
examines the need for improved research that focuses on related psychological components and successful prevention and intervention
strategies. Primary discussions include: police stress, post-traumatic stress, depression, and police suicide. This book examines
police suicidal behaviours and should prove helpful in developing suicide assessment and training programs."