Training police about veterans’ issues can be a tricky endeavor. Police on the whole are a tough group to break through when face to face during instructions. One has to reach out to them on a level playing field. Cops are reserved as a group and individually. A great deal of veterans are officers of the law and that may help.
Veterans are slowly but surely causing issues within the criminal justice system. Domestic violence, dui’s, alcohol, and drug abuse are becoming prevalent in our generation. No one’s immune, in our cohort. Whether you suffer or cause suffering isn’t always the issue. Others around you will, and ignoring it will cause it to escalate to an epidemic.
Facing a group of police is nerve wracking when leading a discussion panel and questions and answers. In order to reach them, you must make them understand Cops usually respond to gallows humor, but today, mine fell short. They listened carefully, sans one aloof officer, who didn’t keep his smirks to himself. (I may have misinterpreted his ticks though).
Chris and I taught police signs of PTSD, depression, identifying and coping mechanisms for veterans. We also share how to deescalate potentially violent situations through empathy. In the end, some police officers approached us with questions and complements. One of the greatest things we’ve heard has been “this has been the greatest training I’ve ever had in X years.” It’s flattering and means we have reached at least some level of understanding within the law enforcement community.