Injured officer: Cops (and those who support them) need daily reminders to help them survive

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With chaos, turmoil, and lack of leadership in Law Enforcement these days, I think of young officers who desperately need daily reminders, guidance and mentors. I had several mentors who shaped, guided, and led me to mirror their behavior and value their lessons of leadership.

I am forever grateful to these men and women.  

I wonder about these officers who see death and evil daily and how little is spoken about Faith. Officers need to lean on something other than the bottle to battle their daily struggles.   

We need constant reminders and support about using healthy coping mechanisms

I learned to enjoy reading and getting lost in a book on my days off. Countless hours waiting in court became a pleasure and reading made the time fly. It was respite from the chaos the job brought.

I recently came across a few books by Jose Maria Escriva.

He was a natural leader. In the world of business or politics, he could have been what the world would consider a great man. Instead, he became a Catholic priest and dedicated his talents to the advancement of good, pouring his heart and soul into grooming an army of apostles who bring faith, hope and love to the world.  

Throughout his priestly ministry, Jose Escriva left many letters of advice and spiritual direction, some of which is contained in three books, The Way, Furrow, and The Forge.  

Below are 10-little reminders from Escriva’s books which help us to be better spouses, parents, friends, and first responders.   

  1. Don’t compromise your principles

‘One must compromise.’ Compromise is a word found only in the vocabulary of those who have no will to fight — the lazy, the cunning, the cowardly — for they consider themselves defeated before they start.

  1. Don’t waste time

Don’t let your life be barren. Be useful. Make yourself felt. Shine forth with the torch of your faith and your love.  Within your life, wipe out the trail of filth and slime left by the corrupt sowers of hatred.

  1. Pay attention to the little things

Will-power. A very important quality. Don’t despise little things, for by the continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things — which are never futile or trivial — with God’s grace you will add strength and resilience to your character. In that way, you will first become master of yourself, and then a guide, a chief, a leader.

  1. Embrace sacrifice

You have a vocation — always presents itself like this: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  Yes!

  1. Care for others

I think it is very good that you should try daily to increase the depth of your concern for those under you. For to feel surrounded and protected by the affectionate understanding of the one in charge, can be the effective help that is needed by the people you have to serve by means of your governance.

  1. Accept obstacles

Is the burden heavy? Those obligations which you freely accepted are wings that raise you high above the vile mud of your passions.

Do the birds feel the weight of their wings? If you were to cut them off and put them on the scales you would see that they are heavy.

But can a bird fly if they are taken away from it? It needs those wings and it does not notice their weight, for they lift it up above other creatures.

  1. Finish the task

Sanctity is made up of heroic acts. Therefore, in our daily work, we are asked for the heroism of finishing properly the tasks committed to us, day after day, even though they are the same tasks. If we don’t, then we do not want to be saints!

  1. Be at peace

As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Faith, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have “turned out” the way God wants them to.

  1. Surround yourself with wise counselors

Mediocre men and woman, mediocre in mind and in spirit, surround themselves with foolish people when they are in power. They are falsely persuaded by their vanity that in this way they will never lose control.

  1. Always stay humble

For all your learning, for all your fame, your eloquence, and power, if you are not humble, you are worth nothing. Cut out, root out that self-complacency which dominates you so completely. — God will help you — and then you will be able to begin working in the lowest place in his army of apostles.

These little reminders call attention to what we should be doing daily. Through patience, humility and being a lighthouse for those in darkness. Remember why you chose this vocation, which demands sacrifice. But how pleasant that sacrifice turns out to be – a service to others – which will help more than you know.  

About the Author:

Brain Mc Vey, MAP

Proud Father, Former Chicago Police Officer injured in the line of duty in 2012.  

Brian holds a Masters’ Degree in Police Psychology from Adler University in Chicago, IL.   Brian can be reached at [email protected]

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Portland Police survey shows morale basically can’t get much worse among cops: ‘Lack of faith in leadership’

August 18, 2021

PORTLAND, OR – In a recent press release from the Portland Police Association, the union representing Portland Police officers, the results from their July 2021 survey regarding their members’ views on current leadership and support from officials shows that officers have a general “lack of faith in leadership and perception of little to no support from City Hall.”

According to the results shared by the Portland Police Association, the union had received over a 70% response of the survey sent out to their 780 current members.

Some of the key findings from the survey were outlined as follows:

  • 92% of rank-and-file members of PPB feel no support at all from City Hall. In contrast, 89% feel at least some support from the community.
  • Over 93% do not feel valued as an employee of the City of Portland and report that the lack of support greatly affects their morale.
  • Over 69% report that the Chief’s Office offers little to no support for the work officers do and only 14% believe there is any commitment at all to building morale.
  • Nearly 90% feel the Chief’s Office is disconnected and out of touch with what’s going on within the rank-and-file. And over 71% don’t feel comfortable voicing their concerns.
  • On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), overall job satisfaction was rated between 3 and 4 with many confirming that they’re on the lookout for police jobs elsewhere.
  • 92% feel the Chief’s Office is ineffective at public relations and over 95% feel the Chief’s Office fails to adequately handle political issues that affect the PPB.
  • Over 90% responded never or only once in a while when asked how often the District Attorney’s office was fulfilling its role in pursuing justice on behalf of our Community when people are accused of breaking the law.
  • 96% are supportive of having body-worn cameras for every Portland Police officer.

The citing that “92% of rank-and-file members of PPB feel no support at all from City Hall” is hardly surprising, when seeing that City Hall is home to none other than the City Council offices which consist of Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners.

Which among those commissioners is Jo Ann Hardesty, which we at Law Enforcement Today have covered numerous reports that highlight Commissioner Hardesty’s habitual vilification of Portland Police and championing the idea of police defunding.   

Then there is the portion of the survey results that found over 93% of officers “do not feel valued as an employee of the City of Portland”, which also makes sense since the Portland Police dealt with riots exceeding 100 days in length and officials explored defunding portions of the department during this crisis in the city.

But the problems going on in-house with respect to the PPB is also concerning, with 69% of survey respondents saying Chief Chuck Lovell “offers little to no support for the work officers do”, only 14% saying the chief is committed to “building morale”, 90% alleging Chief Lovell is “out of touch” with the ongoings of rank-and-file officers, and 71% saying they “don’t feel comfortable” bringing their concerns to leadership.

These sentiments shared by survey participants make it all the more understandable that “overall job satisfaction was rated between 3 and 4 with many confirming that they’re on the lookout for police jobs elsewhere.”

In the press release regarding the PPA survey results, PPA Executive Director Daryl Turner noted that during the review of the survey, may of the answers delivered were “hard to read”. Some of the comments Turner shared that came from the survey criticized the Multnomah District Attorney’s Office, which were as follows:

  • “It is difficult to work the streets every day and help those in need when I know that our DA will not prosecute most or all the people that I hold accountable for their actions.”
  • “Why is the morale gone…? Any work I do as an officer is never prosecuted or sentenced. I feel like it’s Groundhog’s Day. Move the transients around, watch the criminals go free, and repeat.”
  • “If the DA and City Council supported rank and file, morale would be better. They make our lives politics rather than recognizing we are human beings.”

Turner said that these results from the survey convey a clear message on what city officials and PPB leadership need to do to resurrect the morale of officers:

“Portland residents want our city leaders and elected officials to step up and lead us up and out of this crisis and the survey confirms that our Officers are looking for leadership and support. To start digging us out of this mess, we need a fully funded and staffed Police Bureau—it will uplift morale and give officers the resources they need to protect and serve.”

Turner added that the constant “us vs. them mentality” needs to be cast aside and city leaders need to approach a more collaborative method to reestablishing the PPB to a status where officers feel pride in their work:

“We need your help. We need your support. We are all part of this community together. We are all sick of the us vs. them mentality. We solve problems by working and standing side-by-side, together.”

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