Tracking data alone can be not only frustrating but also not helpful in a timely manner. Yes, there officers are late to report, slowed down by illness, get over reactive and many more obvious behaviors, often times, there is a reason behind the noticeable changes in officer behaviors.

Most police agencies track certain data through an early warning system to identify officers who may be experiencing personal or professional problems.  Data such as tardiness, absenteeism, disciplinary action, use of force, demeanor complaints, etc. will be collected by an agency and will result in an early warning flag being raised when certain parameters are met in the software.

Speaking from my experience as a police administrator and instructor of police stress and officer wellness topics, sadly the early warning flag sometimes comes when it is too late to save the officer’s career, marriage, quality of life, and in extreme cases, their life.

Prepare for Stress Ext will allow officers to be their own tracking system, making necessary adjustments to avoid setting off any departmental flags, but more importantly leading a happier life.

It is helpful to know the baseline of how you respond to the stressors of both life at home and at work.  Self-actualization that you are reacting in a manner inconsistent with your baseline can raise your own personal warning flag.  This early alert may help you realize the need to speak about the “F” word, feelings, with someone before the negative coping skills cause you to spiral out of control in both your personal and professional life.

Are you normally the calm voice of reason on a tense scene?  Have you realized other officers are now dreading your arrival due to the fact that you have been escalating encounters lately?

How about at home?  Are you avoiding going home and instead signing up for overtime you do not need, or taking a late call despite being the senior officer on the street?  Take note of the warning signs, use Prepare for Stress to track your responses, and be your own early warning system.