“We are taught to take care of our uniforms, vehicle, equipment, etc. It’s about time we learn to take care of ourselves and each other.”
– Virginia PCIS I participant, 2009
The Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that was established in 2008 to serve members of the law enforcement community. VALEAP‘s services are available to all police, sheriff, and other law enforcement agencies in and around the Commonwealth of Virginia, including state and federal agencies. We work with our partner law enforcement assistance programs to serve law enforcement professionals from outside Virginia as well. Services offered by VALEAP include Critical Incident Stress Management and Post Critical Incident Seminars.
The organization is comprised of trained law enforcement professionals, including Municipal Police Officers, Sheriffs’ Deputies, College/University Police Officers, State Troopers, Corrections Officers, Communications Officers, and Law Enforcement Chaplains. We also work with mental health professionals who are culturally competent in law enforcement matters.
VALEAP is here to help. As an organization, VALEAP is not sponsored by any particular agency, but is supported by many. In most cases our staff volunteer their time, because they are dedicated to helping others. No one understands cops like other cops. We answer the call because we, too, know what it is like to face the many hazards of a life in law enforcement.
VALEAP’s team responds to events including, but certainly not limited to:
- Law Enforcement-involved shootings
- Law Enforcement Professional suicides
- Line-of-duty deaths
- Mass-casualty incident responses
- Other types of critical incidents
VALEAP is not limited to working with certain agencies or regions. Our team of professional peers have responded where the calls have taken us – throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia; from the coalfields of Southwestern Virginia to the Tidewater marshes, from Southside tobacco fields to frenetic Northern Virginia and all points between. We have been there when our friends beyond our borders have called, working with public safety professionals in the Carolinas, West Virginia, Georgia, and Connecticut, as well as federal agencies. We respond at the request of law enforcement administrators to serve many, and we answer the call to serve individuals in need. No incident or response group is too large or small.
THIS is Officer Survival
Officer survival skills take many forms. Most typically when we consider officer survival training we think of advanced verbal, hand-to-hand or weapons-based instruction. But do we consider what goes on after the action stops? Officers learn in the academy that they must “keep it together”; seasoned officers and supervisors say that “real cops don’t show emotion” and discourage others from taking part in “Kumbaya moments”. Officer survival must also include taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Too many careers in law enforcement are cut short because we fail to do things to protect our health and welfare.
Did you know:
- According to FBI statistics, between 5-10% of officers experiencing a very traumatic event will develop moderate to severe PTSD
- Law Enforcement resignation rates are much higher
- Job-hopping is common
- Law Enforcement divorce rate is 15-25% higher than the general population
- Law Enforcement suicides occur at twice the rate of line-of-duty deaths resulting from felonious action
AND a recent study at the University of Buffalo found that:
- Law Enforcement Officers had a much higher mortality rate from cancer and heart disease
- A Law Enforcement Officer’s life expectancy is significantly shorter than civilian counterparts (John M. Violante, et al @ University of Buffalo)
In fact, Virginia has a law on the books acknowledging these health risks and it can be found here: law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/65.2-402
Stress management services offered by VALEAP include:
- Educational meetings and trainings
- On-site Peer Support services
- Diffusing and Crisis Management Briefing
- Group and Individual Debriefing
- Chaplaincy services
- Post-event follow-up
Our trained team of professionals are available to assist you, where and when you need it! All services that we offer are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL to participants.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact one of our program administrators.