Sticks, Stones, and Marriage Bones - The Power of Our Words

Have you ever been on a call, had things calmed down, and then another officer shows up and “stirs the pot” all over again? Maybe you are the officer that gets things calm, or maybe you’re the one that shows up and pours fuel on the fire to get things going all over again. One thing is certain: our tone of voice, choice of words, and overall demeanor affect the outcome of those situations. When I joined the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), a team for response to mental health crisis calls, I was trained to use verbal de-escalation techniques. Mostly everyone learned some form of “verbal judo” in the academy. Some officers may like a good fight, but I prefer to talk my way out of volatile

011: Three Vital Components of First Responder Fitness with Marc Hildebrand

Marc Hildebrand is a Police Sergeant in Los Angeles and the founder of First Responder Fitness with Marc. He serves first responders who struggle to get and stay healthy as a fitness coach, blogger, and podcast host. In this episode, Marc walks our audience through the three vital components of fitness that he learned the hard way while struggling with his health. He was able to lose 100 pounds and transform his overall health and well-being as a result of this system. Today, he has an online following of more than 34,000 people. Marc explains that he "followed the science" to discern these vital components that will help other first responders not only get healthy, but stay healthy. He

Because Cops Pay Taxes Too...Five Tips for Taking the Stress out of Tax Time

"I pay taxes. I pay your salary. You work for me!" Insert eye rolls, sighs, and groans. I always tried to come up with something clever to respond with when a citizen blurted out that statement. I'd usually say something like, "Oh, well can I have a raise?" Feel free to comment below with how you responded...just keep it clean! As if we needed something else to stress about, the reality is that cops pay taxes too. There are extra jobs and 1099’s, equipment and exemptions, and new laws to consider. Add that to the fact that many officers have experienced divorce and now face questions of who claims the kids, who got the house and claims mortgage interest, and so on, and tax time can ha

010: Cuffs and Coffee for Wives of America's Law Enforcement Officers with Allison Uribe

Allison Uribe is the founder of Wives on Duty Ministries, and is the author of several books, including the recently released devotional Cuffs and Coffee for Wives of America's Law Enforcement Officers. She is a chaplain and sought-after speaker, and as the wife of a San Antonio, TX Police Officer, she has reached wives internationally with encouragement in their journey as a police wife. Allison became a Chaplain and decided to serve law enforcement wives after her own personal marriage crisis. In this episode she explains, “God was invited to our wedding, but He wasn’t invited into our marriage.” In great vulnerability, she reveals that she was ready to give up because of the disconnect

Great Leaders Understand the 80/20 Rule

I remember going to the movie theater as a teenager to watch the movie Titanic, an epic-romance film about the night the Titanic sunk in 1912 after striking an iceberg. The ship that was believed to be unsinkable sustained damaged below the water line after striking an iceberg, and now rests 12,000 feet below the surface. The picture of an iceberg presents a powerful lesson on leadership. Only about 20% of the iceberg is visible above the surface of the water. The other 80% is hidden below the surface. According to Ken Blanchard in The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do, "Leadership is a lot like an iceberg. Below the water is the character of a leader. Above the water are the skill

009: Winning a Gunfight Ethically, Mentally, and Physically with Tim Rupp

Tim Rupp served 4 years in the Air Force before joining the San Antonio, TX police department. He retired in 2007 after 24 years of service, but not before he was involved in a deadly gunfight. In this episode, he details the events of his gunfight, explains that there is a difference between merely surviving and and actually winning a gunfight, and provides invaluable insight for those who have or may engage in a deadly encounter. In his book (as explained in this episode of the podcast), Winning a Gunfight Ethically, Mentally, and Physically, Tim teaches us to secure victory ethically (spiritually) as well as mentally and physically. He says that surviving means that you continue to exi

Great Leaders Understand the Importance of Building a Team

There's something about great teams that consistently win. There's a reason why Tom Brady led a massive comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Superbowl LI. There's a reason why he has 5 Superbowl rings and Coach Bill Belichick has seven. Usually, the common thread is great leadership. Great leaders know how to recruit, how to train, how to assign roles, and how to empower for success. Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, talks about not only getting the "right players on the bus," but also getting them into the "right seats on the bus." We've all seen the teams with superstar players who just can't get it together. And if you've been around long enough, you experienced pastors, c

008: How I Survived as a Police Wife for Two Police Shootings with Linda Swihart

Linda Swihart is the wife of Mike Swihart, who in episode 007 relays the stories of two police shootings and military combat deployments. As a trained emergency medical responder, she provided life-saving support to Mike after he was critically wounded in a gunfight that occurred at their church during Sunday morning worship. In this episode, she provides her perspective on the critical incidents, discusses the support that helped her, and offers advice for how police families can assist one another during and after the event. Linda reminds us that "you pay a high price for loving a cop. Is it worth it? Yes!" She then shares how she overcame her personal journey with fear, and offers a

Great Leaders Set the Standard with Integrity

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander." I heard about a Police Chief who quite frequently used profanity during interpersonal conversations and staff meetings. I later heard that the same Chief upheld disciplinary action against an Officer who received a complaint for using profanity during a very intense call. What message do you think was sent? What do you think happened to the morale of the troops or their loyalty to the Chief? Now, I'll be the first to tell you that in over 9 years on the job I never once used profanity. I worked some pretty rough areas and got into some fairly difficult situations, but was as effective as anyone else. I don't think you have to use profan

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