Does Law Enforcement Need Mental Health Care?
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. People who are attracted to law enforcement are more often than not white men do think targeting women and people of Color to become police officers and diversifying the police force would that help it's a start but does even problems with that. There are women in law enforcement in there are minorities and law enforcement. But what I hear about individuals who identify as female or who are minorities it's that they have to work twice as hard and be twice as aggressive on the street so that they can. Prove that they belong in that culture that they can prove themselves to their efthimios. That's field training officer, which by the way Derek Show van who killed George Floyd Q. is enough t o Oh i did not realize that. Yeah. To prove to their colleagues and the veterans on the forest that they can be there and that black officers say that they are even tougher on black members of their community. So they can show I'm really blue I'm really with you. So there's all that kind of. That is going on in law enforcement culture even when you're bringing on minorities even when you have black commanders, there's still acts of racism acts of racism perpetrated against officers, not just the public, right so this is still happening yes. Law Enforcement has a reputation of being traditionally White Catholic Boys Club that is changing, but it is still changing very slowly. Police departments are still not representative of the racial and ethnic makeup of most of their communities. We are still living in a situation where police officers in a lot of places can live outside of the community where they police so. You have law enforcement officers policing really impoverished areas, but they're living nicer suburbs. So they get to go home they don't really have an investment in their community. They don't really know the INS and outs of their community over and over again, they see the criminal element of the community, but they don't interact with the law abiding citizens. So I find that incredibly problematic Gabriel were hearing a lot about defunding the police. Can you talk about what that means because I believe a lot of people believe this just means the police are GonNa go away and it's GonNa be the wild west. It's never like there's there is not someone available right and that's what everyone who's freaking out about all this defined the police thing and putting these absurd commercials. There's a phone ringing ringing ringing and. I one one, what's your emergency? We're sorry due to all the liberals want to defend the police. There's no one here to respond to your that's. That's not reality. Okay, and it's not reality now and it won't be reality either if we radically reimagined law enforcement nobody out there in the black lives matter movement or in any advocacy movement wants someone to get hurt because help is not available for them. Gabriel I wanNA pivot really hard right now and talk about the mental health of the police officers society. We have been told the beginning that policing is a dangerous job. It's a job filled with worry and trauma and stress. So it would it would occur to me or I would think that mental health training four police officers to address their own mental health would start at the academy. Is this the case the majority of training at the academy they're focused on learning laws municipal codes they're focused on going to the gun range they're doing. Evoke which is emergency vehicle operator course training. That's really what it's about. It's about self defense and watching your six and watching these videos over and over and over again, a police officers getting killed during traffic stops really scaring the bejesus out of you. Okay. That's what academy training is like.