One of the goals on my 30 for 30 List is to read 30 books this year. I just finished the first one for this year and it was one of the most helpful books I’ve read in a while! If you are an officer in Law Enforcement, a spouse of an officer, fiancé, family, or friend of some one who serves in Law Enforcement, Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement by Kevin M. Gilmartin was written for you. It goes beyond the day to day tasks of the law enforcement life and digs deeper to reveal the emotional side and side effects of the job.
I highly recommend this book to new officers and their spouses! While officers are put through rigorous training in order to serve and protect their communities effectively, there are few officers and far fewer spouses and families that are prepared for the emotional side effects of the job. A career in law enforcement is extremely different from the many stereotypical 9 to 5 jobs out there. The long and odd work hours, missed holidays with loved ones, having to face tragedy and lawlessness on a daily basis, along with the necessity of having to wear a bullet proof vest everyday has a profound mental, emotional, and physical impact on the officer themselves, but it also has an impact on their families. As a spouse, this book helped me understand my husband’s world better and how it impacts our family. It also helped me learn how to view the impact with a healthy mindset.
Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement offers practical ways to not get consumed with the job (or letting the job consume you), how to provide balance between the on duty hyper-vigilience and off duty zoning out, ways to take control of your off duty time, tips to maintaining your personal identity, cues to fight isolation and cynicism, staying connected with loved ones along with so many more practical tools to stay emotionally strong in the world of law enforcement!
Overall, learning to bring balance to your life and perspective, learning where the stresses and impacts are coming from, and choosing to take control of your personal time off duty were the points that stood out most to me. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!