Does Law Enforcement Need Mental Health Care?


Gabe Howard calling into the show today we have Gabriel Nathan. Gabriel is the executive director of eighty-seven recovery. Diaries and they produced a film series called beneath the vest first responder mental health and features police officers, EMS personnel, dispatchers, fire service all individuals talking about trauma and complex PTSD Gabriel. Welcome to the show I. Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Gabriel. Today we're going to be talking about law enforcement reform and I know that you have a lot of thoughts on the subject first of all before I really get into the. Weeds of the question would I have found is whenever you are taking a position that is critical in any way of law enforcement or attempts to raise questions even about the way law enforcement agencies do anything. It is extremely important to establish your own bona fide because anybody who steps up to challenge law enforcement is immediately regarded with suspicion. Paranoia is dismissed as a quote Lib tarred Troll anti-cop Antifa, whatever I'm none of those things I am someone who for the last twenty years has been an advocate for slain police officers and their families through editorials commentaries in newspapers I've attended over ten police funerals in Philadelphia, down to Maryland. I have done a lot of advocacy work for law enforcement in regard to mental health of first responders. I'm very well aware of the suicide rate for police officers. I am someone who knows law enforcement culture. I am someone who has a respect for police officers and what they do, and so I just want people to know that I am doing this from a place of love and concern and from a position of someone who believes ardently that they're absolutely needs to be changed and radical reimagining of law enforcement across the board. Thank you Gabriel for say and all that, and I agree with many of your points and I wanna point out that you were a recent guest on another podcast I have the pleasure of hosting not crazy and you had so much to say, well it it's built over into a second podcast. I strongly encourage all of our listeners to head over to central dot com slash not crazy and check out that interview. Alright. Gabriel to get started. You believe that in many ways we're recruiting the wrong people and that a lot of our problems start early even before police officers get into the academy. Yes. Look at the people who go into law enforcement. Okay. A lot of people decide they WANNA be cops when their children, they're watching shows like cops they're watching shows like law and order they're watching the weapon movies even as far as Hill Street Blues I would say that this problem started with Hillstreet Blues, the opening credits of Hillstreet Blues. I, love the music and then the garage door opens and the Plymouth fury is in the garage with red lights bursting out of the graduates exciting, right so who is drawn to that Profession Action Junkies? It's people who want that adrenaline rush and then we put them in situations where they're in a constant state of hyper arousal they're always looking around they're doing the head swivel. Someone's GonNa hurt me as someone GonNa, shoot me. In a twenty five year career most police officers never fire their weapon. Never fire their weapon once. Many. Many police officers never pulled their weapon and yet that's the kind of human being that is drawn to that profession and I have had people tell me well, we pull in people who are really resilient well is that what you're doing or are you pulling in people who are craving action and are not necessarily maybe the most empathic people because a law enforcement agency can't function if a police officer responds to a call and then starts falling apart emotionally because they can't process what they saw. So maybe law enforcement is either consciously or subconsciously trying to pull people in who maybe don't have that kind of empathic response. That's not who I want riding around in a patrol car with a firearm and the power of arrest.

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