The topics of Officer Wellness and Resiliency are on the forefront of numerous law enforcement agencies across the nation and CopLine would like to do our part in spreading the word that HELP and SUPPORT are only a phone call away.
Law Enforcement is currently experiencing a critical situation-Police Suicide. Not only are we supporting our brother and sister officers across the USA and Canada on the various crises they encounter, but we find ourselves assisting them with a different level of stress and anxiety in regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the unstable environment due to the recent protests.
CopLine is an international law enforcement hotline that is manned by retired law enforcement personnel. It was established as a lifeline for police officers both active and retired across the USA and Canada. We are a non-profit organization providing 24/7 coverage of trained peer support volunteers to help callers navigate the many stressors they face on and off the job. We also provide referrals to vetted mental health professionals.
CopLine is a crucial life-saving program that has helped officers and their families during times of crisis by talking to someone that understands what it’s like to wear the badge. We deal with the many psychological stressors that officers and their families experience daily and we are available to them during their best and worst days.
Our hotline is confidential and callers often remain anonymous, so in essence we provide an environment that removes the stigma of discussing one’s feelings and more importantly the fear of any repercussions and/or retaliatory actions for having done so.
Who better to discuss the graphic violence one encounters daily and the effects it has emotionally, than another officer who has experienced similar situations in his/her career, thus having insight and empathy?
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Our outreach is to those officers in need of support, be it an officer with six months on the job, a veteran officer with six months to go towards retirement, and even retired officers that are experiencing signs of depression.
We are also an outreach to retirees who are interested in, or considering volunteer work. Working on the hotline is extremely satisfying and a great way to give back to those still wearing the badge and serving our communities. I cannot think of a more important call to take, than one from a fellow officer who is experiencing difficult times.
Whoever the caller is, you may be the only voice that is available to provide them comfort during a critical moment in their lives, and that comfort is immeasurable.
Our volunteers may never know the outcome once the phone contact is over-did the caller seek help, recover from their crisis or finish their careers, but what we do know is for that brief moment the caller was not alone and that’s why CopLine exists.
I encourage anyone interested in volunteer work to complete an online questionnaire at www.copline.org. After fulfilling the requirements the volunteer must attend and complete a mandatory Active Listener training course.
The course is at no cost to the volunteer and our lead instructor is an LAPD police psychologist who was also the director of the Los Angeles Suicide Center, the oldest hotline in the country.
We must never forget the sacrifices our law enforcement personnel make during their careers and we must all remember that SUFFERING IN SILENCE IS UNACCEPTABLE!
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