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Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP)
The Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) committed to serving law enforcement officers and first responders who have undergone traumatic critical incidents in the line of duty or in their personal lives. Established in 2008, in the wake of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, the organization has served thousands of officers from over 100 Virginia agencies and trained over 900 law enforcement peers, chaplains, and clinicians to date.
The program implements proven methods of peer support and mental health services to provide psychological and emotional healing to all participants. VALEAP‘s services include Critical Incident Stress Management and Post Critical Incident Seminars.
VALEAP has hosted 30 post-critical incident seminars since 2008, where over 1,100 law enforcement professionals have been in attendance.
No one understands cops like other cops. That’s why the organization is run by a dedicated team of volunteers who are trained law enforcement professionals, including Municipal Police Officers, Sheriffs’ Deputies, College/University Police Officers, State Troopers, Law Enforcement Chaplains, Dispatchers, and culturally competent Mental Health Professionals.
VALEAP is here to help. If you would like to learn more or speak with our team, contact us here. If you would like to register for the next PCIS conference, click here.
Virginia Governor, Glenn Youngkin donates his first quarterly salary to the Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program. Click the link below to see Governor Youngkin and our Operations Director discuss on Fox & Friends.
PCIS Participant Testimonials
Each year since VALEAP’s inception, our program has grown and participation has steadily increased. Our success is due in no small part to our participants’ willingness to “spread the word” about their PCIS experiences. The best possible gauge of success is what folks have said about us. Here are some comments from our VALEAP Post Critical Incident Seminar participants:
“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.”
“Remove the pretense that nothing will help, that you don’t belong here, your story can’t compare. It’s great to be with a group of individuals who have been in your shoes and understand what you mean, that know how you felt.”
“This training is not for wimps. It’s not about making you cry. It is about getting you to accept, reflect, and move on. It helped me to re-evaluate my stress, my priorities, my choices, and my attitude.”
“This event helped me more than I can possibly articulate. I had several “light bulb moments” that will help me in the months ahead. I really had no idea how much emotional baggage I was carrying and how badly I needed to deal with it. I feel liberated and much better prepared for the rest of my career. I need to thank the person who suggested I come to this event.”
“This event has been imperative in my healing process and understanding why I have been feeling the way I have. It has equipped me with the tools needed not only to help myself, but to help others. This program should be mandatory for every officer who experiences a critical incident nation-wide.”
“I am leaving this event with a weight having been lifted from me. EMDR* was amazing!”
“This event has given me a chance to look at my struggles in a little different light. I know I am not alone now. I have benefitted from attending and walk away a little less broken. I still have a long way to go, but for the first time in a long time, I do not feel numb.”
“I feel focused and ready to tackle my issues. I believe this was a huge first step for me.”
“This has been eye-opening for me. I would encourage command level LEOs to attend this seminar. It will help them to better serve their subordinates and help them personally.”
“At first I dreaded coming to the PCIS. I didn’t want to relive or dwell on the incidents that I was involved in. The first day was tough telling my story. The second day during my EMDR* session, I learned that my attitudes, the negative changes I had made in my life, were a direct result of those incidents. When this was realized during EMDR, I immediately felt myself feeling better than I had in three years. It felt like a very heavy weight had been taken off of me, and that I could enjoy life again. I realized the good things such as my family that I unintentionally neglected for a long time. I came in dreading the Seminar, but left a new person, and very thankful that I had attended PCIS.”
“I think the Seminar would be extremely beneficial in assisting the spouse of an officer who has experienced a traumatic incident. It would help them understand what the spouse is experiencing as well as open their eyes to what the spouse goes through on a daily basis. I am part of the CISM team in my department and intend to strengthen the team with what I have learned and will attempt to dismantle the perception that this is not effective.”
“This has been a wonderful healing experience. We need this program to continue. This event can help heal your heart and your mind.”
“This event has taught me some techniques to cope with anxiety and depression as well as healthy ways to deal with the bitterness associated with Departmental support surrounding my incident.”
“Since this program, I can look back on my incident and see it in a completely different light. The shame and a lot of the fear have faded. It was wonderful to discover other officers who felt just the same as I did – to hear that I wasn’t alone or abnormal.”
*EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a proven therapeutic tool used to aid in trauma recovery.