Remember your family in the aftermath of a critical incident


Navigating the emotional aftermath of a critical incident can be a difficult, sometimes-painful process for any officer. It’s common for officers involved in these types of events to experience all kinds of rollercoaster emotions and the ways in which those are successfully dealt with can vary, as has been discussed in scores of articles, tips and training classes.

Something important to remember is the fact that your family is likely also experiencing some level of emotional duress as a result of your experience. It’s crucial that you take care of yourself emotionally after a traumatic event. Remember that it’s just as crucial to ensure that your family is being cared for emotionally as well.

Prepare in advance for any such eventuality by finding out from your PD, your POA, or any one of several other entities what sort of resources may be available to family members of officers involved in critical incidents.  You may choose to share your findings with your spouse, your parents, or other loved ones in advance. You may choose to “keep it in your back pocket” for that one day such information becomes imperative to them. 

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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