Racine Police Peer Support https://www.racinepeersupport.org Racine Peer Support a group of peer volunteers for police department & their family Sun, 23 Jun 2019 00:19:36 -0500 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://www.racinepeersupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/favicon.png Racine Police Peer Support https://www.racinepeersupport.org 32 32 Fallen Racine officer was just months away from retirement https://www.racinepeersupport.org/fallen-racine-officer-was-just-months-away-from-retirement/ https://www.racinepeersupport.org/fallen-racine-officer-was-just-months-away-from-retirement/#respond Sun, 23 Jun 2019 00:19:36 +0000 https://www.racinepeersupport.org/?p=2087 Officer John Hetland was only six to eight months away from retiring and spending more time with his two children. Hetland served the Racine Police Department for 24 years. He also served as a field training officer and a member of the Greater Racine FBI Gang Task Force. A Racine Police Department cruiser, covered in […]

The post Fallen Racine officer was just months away from retirement appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
Officer John HetlandOfficer John Hetland was only six to eight months away from retiring and spending more time with his two children. Hetland served the Racine Police Department for 24 years. He also served as a field training officer and a member of the Greater Racine FBI Gang Task Force.

A Racine Police Department cruiser, covered in flowers whose petals were reflected in its sleek, black hood, served Tuesday as a makeshift memorial for slain Racine Police Officer John Hetland. A row of “We Back the Badge” signs lined the grass in front of the Police Department, 730 Center St., where the vehicle was parked. On the bumper hung a sign that read “Friend to many, hero to all.”

At about 9:40 p.m. Monday, Hetland, who was at Teezers to have dinner with a friend, witnessed an armed robbery in progress. The suspect allegedly went behind the bar while wielding a gun and demanded money from the bartender. Hetland jumped over the bar in an attempt to take down the suspect, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Beth was unsure if Hetland identified himself as an officer or if he had his service weapon with him. As the officer tried to gain control of the suspect, Hetland was shot once, reportedly in the chest. The suspect then fled the scene, heading southwest. Police described the shooter as a black man in his 20s, 5 feet, 8 inches and weighing about 150 pounds. Police had not caught the shooter as of Tuesday evening, but Beth said law enforcement had some video footage of the suspect and was working to obtain more from nearby businesses.

Although Hetland was off duty at the time of the shooting, his death is regarded as a line-of-duty death because he was taking action consistent with his law enforcement duties, according to Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. Hetland’s was the first line-of-duty death for the Racine Police Department in 45 years.

Support for law enforcement

Police Chief Art Howell said Hetland was a trusted and highly respected member of the department, serving in various positions over the years, including as a field training officer and member of the Greater Racine FBI Gang Task Force.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Mason said the city supports its law enforcement officers and urged the public to do the same.

“We grieve his loss, but we offer our love and support for those officers that are still out there today doing their jobs,” Mason said.

Beth said Hetland, like all other officers, was a “superhero.”

 

“Last night in Racine, we lost one of our superheroes,” Beth said. “He wasn’t even officially working at the time, but he was doing what he was trained to do for the past 24 years: protect the public.”

Beth — who had one of his deputies, Frank Fabiano Jr., slain while responding to a call in 2008 — said that law enforcement on the scene late Monday and throughout Tuesday had witnessed an outpouring of support from Racinians, as they lined up to bring flowers and food and to hug the officers.

Dozens of police vehicles responded to the scene Monday night, including cars from Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant and the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, in addition, of course, to numerous City of Racine police units. Kenosha County Sheriff’s units responded to the scene later. Several police K-9 units were also observed on the scene as a search of the neighborhood around Teezers commenced.

Processionals

Hetland’s body remained at the scene at Teezers until shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, when police vehicles created a processional and Hetland’s body was taken to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Processional for Officer Hetland

Earlie Briscoe, who lives about two blocks from Teezers, said that seeing the hearse transporting Hetland’s body from the scene was emotional and difficult to watch.

When I saw the hearse getting ready to pull out, I just broke down,” Briscoe said. She said an officer saw her crying and approached her. He hugged her and told her “thank you.”

“I’ve never witnessed anything like this,” Briscoe said.

Michael Burmeister, a Racine native, said that when he saw the news, he came to the area to find out what he could about the shooting.

“I hope this is a wake-up call to show that life is precious, and that we all need to preserve life whenever we can,” Burmeister said.

Hetland’s casket was returned from Milwaukee later in the afternoon Tuesday and another procession proceeded down Washington Avenue from the Interstate and proceeded to Ohio Street, where it headed south to Meachem Road and eventually to Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home & Crematory in Mount Pleasant.

The post Fallen Racine officer was just months away from retirement appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
https://www.racinepeersupport.org/fallen-racine-officer-was-just-months-away-from-retirement/feed/ 0
Covert Trauma. LE’s Nightmare. https://www.racinepeersupport.org/covert-trauma-les-nightmare/ https://www.racinepeersupport.org/covert-trauma-les-nightmare/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:12:32 +0000 https://www.racinepeersupport.org?p=1953 When you hear the word trauma, what you think about? A broken leg. A gunshot wound. Something you’d see on a dramatic TV series like Chicago Fire or CSI. It’s only natural to think about the visible injuries that often times can make a soft stomach turn sour. That’s not the kind of trauma I’m […]

The post Covert Trauma. LE’s Nightmare. appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
When you hear the word trauma, what you think about?

A broken leg. A gunshot wound. Something you’d see on a dramatic TV series like Chicago Fire or CSI. It’s only natural to think about the visible injuries that often times can make a soft stomach turn sour. That’s not the kind of trauma I’m talking about here. For many of my brothers and sisters in Blue, it’s the trauma you can’t see on the outside that can be the most dangerous of all. This trauma can be impressed upon an officer a number of ways, and affects each officer very differently. (The topic of an officer’s reactions to trauma will be addressed in a future blog post here.)

Whether trauma is suffered from one violent police call for service, a call involving an infant or child, or exposure to various heartbreaking situations and critical incidents over an officer’s career, it’s there. You can’t see it, but it’s there. Covert. Suffocating. Covert. Numbing. Covert. Buried.

So, why do law enforcement officers conceal their trauma reactions? Think about it. They spend shift after shift, year after year running towards the danger. They’re there to help people when they’re at their worst moments in life. They’d take a bullet for their brother or sister in blue, or you. They’re strong and steadfast. That’s a pretty big image to uphold, right? After 20 years in law enforcement, I’ve seen that way of thinking hurt us far more than it helps us, including myself.

In the academy, we spent our time training for all the physical and policy orientated aspects of police work. Handcuffing. Defense and arrest tactics. Firearms. Report writing. Policy and procedure. Learning State Law’s. Policing as a whole hasn’t spent much time on our mental and emotional well-being, and in fact 20 years ago we spent zero time on the topic. ZERO.

From early on in our law enforcement careers, we’re taught indirectly to “suck it up” or “just deal with it” when we’re faced with a tough call during our shift. No one talked about it and if someone asked if you were ok, you simply responded “I’m fine, thanks” and went on with the rest of our shift. Dealing with our emotional and mental well-being wasn’t in our training manuals or in the academy. It was just an unspoken ‘rule’ associated with a stigma in law enforcement. COPS DON’T ASK FOR HELP.

I wish I would have known and understood 20 years ago what I know and understand now. I would have been much better prepared for what laid ahead in my career. At less than 5 years on the road, like many other law enforcement officers, I’d seen a few dead babies, been involved in an officer involved shooting, chased kids through yards after a vehicle pursuits and seen more dead bodies and bloody crime scenes than I cared to ever see in my lifetime. What does a person do with all that trauma? What would you do with all it if it happened to you?

Law enforcement in general, including here at the Racine Police Department, is improving at educating and empowering officers to take control over their own emotional and mental well-being. We’re talking about vicarious trauma, warning signs and symptoms of PTSD, watching out for each other on a more emotional level and probably the most important of all: we’re talking about it.  We’re working hard to erase the stigma in law enforcement and advocate for officer’s well being. Stop and talk about it, because in this family no one fights alone.

Please a few minutes to check out our new Racine Police Peer Support Team website. There are a variety of resource websites, downloadable PDF’s, videos and books you may find helpful in your journey as a law enforcement officer or LEO family member.

Welcome to the fight. You aren’t alone.

The post Covert Trauma. LE’s Nightmare. appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
https://www.racinepeersupport.org/covert-trauma-les-nightmare/feed/ 0
Myths about police officers and mental health treatment https://www.racinepeersupport.org/myths-about-police-officers-and-mental-health-treatment/ https://www.racinepeersupport.org/myths-about-police-officers-and-mental-health-treatment/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 10:03:36 +0000 https://www.racinepeersupport.org?p=64 Most clinicians who work with law enforcement officers will tell you that the experience can be a little different. Sometimes, it seems to incorporate elements of a spy thriller. First, the call from the unknown number. Then, the interrogation from the unidentified caller, asking about your experience with cops, your ability to keep secrets and […]

The post Myths about police officers and mental health treatment appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
Most clinicians who work with law enforcement officers will tell you that the experience can be a little different. Sometimes, it seems to incorporate elements of a spy thriller. First, the call from the unknown number. Then, the interrogation from the unidentified caller, asking about your experience with cops, your ability to keep secrets and if you are in any way affiliated with the department. James Bond must be on the other end of the phone.

Let’s start by exploring the impacts that a career in law enforcement can have on officers. Law enforcement officers are a special population (like military and paramilitary personnel and other first responders) who experience coexisting medical and behavioral health issues with links to job-related stressors. According to a landmark study published by researcher John Violanti with the University at Buffalo in 2012, various factors contribute to the very serious physical and mental health concerns experienced by many law enforcement officers. These factors include:

  • Shift work
  • Long hours
  • Unpredictable schedules
  • Exposure to critical incidents
  • Being the frequent focus of public attention and criticism
  • Various physical demands
  • High rates of on-the-job injuries

The major concerns identified in Violanti’s study are high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, diabetes, posttraumatic stress disorder, obesity, depression, anxiety, cancer, substance abuse, relational distress and suicide. This special population often presents with higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide than does the general public.
Source: Counseling Today

The post Myths about police officers and mental health treatment appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
https://www.racinepeersupport.org/myths-about-police-officers-and-mental-health-treatment/feed/ 0
What is Racine Police Peer Support? https://www.racinepeersupport.org/what-is-racine-police-peer-support/ https://www.racinepeersupport.org/what-is-racine-police-peer-support/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 10:03:32 +0000 https://www.racinepeersupport.org?p=68 The Racine Police Peer Support Team recognizes the value of a peer-based program to assist with personal and/or professional problems. The Racine Peer Support is composed of a group of peer volunteers that are available to any member of the department & their family. This provides an avenue for members to talk out personal and/or […]

The post What is Racine Police Peer Support? appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
The Racine Police Peer Support Team recognizes the value of a peer-based program to assist with personal and/or professional problems.

The Racine Peer Support is composed of a group of peer volunteers that are available to any member of the department & their family. This provides an avenue for members to talk out personal and/or professional problems confidentially with someone who understands and cares.

The Peer Support Program’s goal is to assist peers with stresses caused by personal and work related problems and help them to continue to be a productive member of the department and society as a whole.

The post What is Racine Police Peer Support? appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
https://www.racinepeersupport.org/what-is-racine-police-peer-support/feed/ 0
Racine Policeman’s Ball 2018 https://www.racinepeersupport.org/racine-policemans-ball-2018/ https://www.racinepeersupport.org/racine-policemans-ball-2018/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 10:03:30 +0000 https://www.racinepeersupport.org?p=67 Racine Policeman’s Ball Committee invites you to the 2018 Racine Policeman’ Ball from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Festival Hall. Includes catered dinner and an evening of live music/dancing. Cocktail attired required. Tickets available in advance only – not at the door. $45 per person; tables of 10 are $450. Order online at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1817338934988336/ The […]

The post Racine Policeman’s Ball 2018 appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
Racine Policeman’s Ball Committee invites you to the 2018 Racine Policeman’ Ball from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Festival Hall.

Includes catered dinner and an evening of live music/dancing. Cocktail attired required. Tickets available in advance only – not at the door. $45 per person; tables of 10 are $450. Order online at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1817338934988336/

The Policeman’s Ball is hosted by area law enforcement (Racine Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Sturtevant Police Department and Racine County Sheriff Department). Supports the K-9 units, law enforcement officer wellness, honor guards and Police PALS Mentoring Program.

November 3, 2018
Location: 5 Fifth Street, Racine,
Time: 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Price: $45

The post Racine Policeman’s Ball 2018 appeared first on Racine Police Peer Support.

]]>
https://www.racinepeersupport.org/racine-policemans-ball-2018/feed/ 0