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Recommended Books

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Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement

A guide for Officers and their families.


Matt's Last Call

Life does not train you for this. Tragedies like this can easily separate you from your sanity. All the usual unanswerable questions begin to flood your mind. And so the blame game moves on. Maybe as parents we were at fault. On and on it goes. Almost from the beginning, however, the Lord would not permit me to go there. There seemed to be some God-ordained plan in motion that would turn this evil into something good. When Julie Zielinski's fun-loving, marine, sheriff deputy son commits suicide, her world comes crashing down. Questions flood her mind: How could she have stopped this? What next? And mostly, why? As Julie grieves her son in Mattâ€'s Last Call: Surviving Our Protectors, she reflects on the life he lived and the memories she will hold onto forever. For instance, the time his captain allowed him a leave from the marine corps in order to spend time with his ill grandfather in Hawaii. Or remembering what he looked like in his oversized baseball cap and uniform. Her energetic son turned into a man who loved nothing more than his family and country. With memories from Matt's father, friends, and family, this memoir will surely pull at heartstrings. As Julie reflects on the death of her firstborn son, she informs parents and children of the dangers of suicide, the difficulty of coping, the pain of everyday life, and lastly the days that happiness returns, even if just a little bit.


Diary of a Devastated Widow

A memoir of a police lieutenant's widow, who journals her struggle after her husband died by suicide.


Suicide and Homicide-Suicide Among Police

Four hundred police officers die by suicide every year in the United States. Lt. Michael Piggot died by suicide following a Taser incident. Police Chief Thomas Moffatt was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot at the police station. This book, for the first time, investigates in evidence-based detail the probable epidemic, not approached since the great pandemic of the 1930s, of suicide and homicide-suicide among police. It sorts out the complexity. Yet, it also does more; it raises a question: On a continuum of violence, when does a discrete, individual suicide, such as that of Thomas Moffatt, become a relational one considering the range from suicide pacts, such as that of Adolf Hitler and his wife, to unwilling victim(s) and a perpetrator, as in the homicides of the four Oakland, California, police officers in 2009 in 'suicide by cop'; to the homicide-suicide of Superintendent David Lucio and Inspector Kelly Johnson? Kelly Johnson pulled the trigger that killed her partner, David Lucio, and then herself. The book answers many questions. Are the rates of suicide and homicide-suicide among police really high? Are suicide and homicide interwoven? What factors in a multidimensional array such as emotional disorders, work-related trauma, domestic violence, and alcoholism cause needless deaths? Many questions are answered, and the means of investigation, the 'psychological autopsies'; are outlined for the police officer and forensic researcher alike. The book examines more: Does the availability of a gun increase risk? What can be done to prevent the tragedies? What works? The whole book is, in fact, a treatise on prevention. Indeed, it is highly focused on intervention, but also on services for survivors, or --postvention--What help do fellow officers, family, and community need? Why are there barriers--'blue walls'--hobstructing efforts at prevention? Why are investigations not allowed, or halted or dissembled? What policies and procedures have been proven, for about 100 years, to be effective, but rarely implemented? This book answers many questions and raises new ones. Rich in individual case investigations and general forensic research, the book attempts to be mindful of the needs of officers on the street, mental health providers, administrators of police services, forensic investigators, officers and specialists alike, and traumatized survivors of the horror. With illustrations ranging from Shakespeare's Othello to the actual crime scene investigations, the book attempts to meet a challenge: Who was Michael Piggot, and why did he kill himself? Why did Kelly Johnson commit homicide-suicide? The officer and forensic specialist will understand better what they are investigating and what we can do to prevent further deaths. There are life-saving interventions. Not only does the book present effective predictions and controls to stop the epidemic, it also offers best practices. It ends with a final challenge: Will police services allow the epidemic to continue? Intended Audience: Police officers and related law and security officers, and their administrators; forensic and criminal justice specialists; mental health providers (such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers); criminologists and sociologists; researchers and students in diverse fields; national and global police and health organizations; suicidal officers themselves; and the survivors of the tragedies.


We need to talk about suicide

Why is Suicide Such a Hard Topic to Talk About? People are often afraid to bring up the word suicide, thinking it will give someone the idea to end their life. Please believe me when I tell you that you cannot give them the idea. Often those who are in a crisis situation are stuck between a death wish and a wish to live, and are not sure what they want to do. Some people talk about suicide, giving others a chance to intervene. Sometimes the internal conversation in a potentially suicidal person s head feels so loud, it s hard for them to believe it can t be heard by others. The fear of talking about suicide is the unacknowledged proverbial elephant in the room. Talking about concerns of suicidal action allows for a release valve necessary to deflate the elephant. You can make a difference by recognizing warning signs of suicide. According to multiple sets of crisis statistics, eighty percent of people who attempt or complete suicide give some form of warning signs prior to their attempt. You can benefit from knowledge gained through many hundreds of actual assessments and interventions, which have lead to the identification of ten types of life situations that contribute to contemplating suicide. True stories and information on how to recognize and respond to verbal and behavioral clues will help you find ways to approach people you care about.




Gifts My Father Gave Me

Losing someone you love is the hardest thing most of us will ever have to endure. Sharon Knutson-Felix experienced the deaths of her six-year-old son, and, years later, her police officer husband. In this remarkable book, she reveals how she went through and survived the grief process, endeavored to heal, and found love and joy again. Sharon unravels her powerful story as if over coffee at your kitchen table, an intimate story filled with laughter, tears, suspense, and Christian faith. Yet this inspirational story transcends religion, and comforts anyone who has lost a loved one.


The Complete Guide to Crisis & Trauma Counseling

Many pastors and lay counselors have had minimal training in clinical methods of grief and trauma counseling. The Complete Guide to Crisis and Trauma Counseling is a biblical, practical guide to pastoral counseling written by one of the most respected Christian therapists of our time. Dr. H. Norman Wright brings more than forty years of clinical and classroom experience to this topic. He shares real-life dialogues from his decades in private practice to demonstrate healthy, healing counseling sessions. Readers will learn how to counsel and coach both believers and nonbelievers who are in crisis, how to walk alongside them through the hours, weeks, and months following their trauma, and how to help them find the path to complete restoration.


Night Falls Fast

An internationally acknowledged authority on depressive illnesses, Dr. Jamison has also known suicide firsthand: after years of struggling with manic-depression, she tried at age twenty-eight to kill herself. Weaving together a historical and scientific exploration of the subject with personal essays on individual suicides, she brings not only her remarkable compassion and literary skill but also all of her knowledge and research to bear on this devastating problem. This is a book that helps us to understand the suicidal mind, to recognize and come to the aid of those at risk, and to comprehend the profound effects on those left behind. It is critical reading for parents, educators, and anyone wanting to understand this tragic epidemic.



Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: 

- Can I set limits and still be a loving person? 
- What are legitimate boundaries? 
- What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? 
- How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? 
- Aren't boundaries selfish? 
- Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? 

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.


Police Suicide-Is Police Culture Killing our Officers?

Provides realistic insight into the life of a police officer through a police officer’s eyes. Presenting invaluable lessons learned by a Chicago police officer with more than 20 years of experience, it supplies detailed accounts of what an officer goes through to survive on the streets, as well what he or she gives up in return.

A must-read for every new recruit and anyone currently working in law enforcement, this book addresses the critical issues involved with an occupation in policing. Providing comprehensive coverage of the subject, it includes coverage of police culture, stress and burnout, personal issues, emotional survival, suicide prevention, risk factors, and PTSD. The book is practical enough for line officers and has enough theory for an academic course on police stress and suicide.

We need to do a better job of preparing police for this stress and a better job caring for our officers throughout their careers. If we do so, we will have better police officers and we will be better served as a society. This book is a primer in that direction.

From problems on the street and administrative struggles to personal and family matters, this book provides readers with proven methods for coping with the emotional and physical issues police officers face each day while on the street and at home.


The Price they Pay

The Price They Pay will attempt to return to the modern police officer something they have been lacking for a long time - humanity. It will tell the story of the mother and child who lost their husband and father to a hit and run, all because a 21-year-old driver was afraid the officer would stop him and find marijuana in his car. Meet the man who has attempted suicide and is entering an inpatient treatment center for his PTSD, the man who stood two feet from his partner when he died from a gunshot wound to the head, the man confined to a hospital for the past year and a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and other officers whose stories continue after the media coverage ends. Enter their homes, their hearts, and their minds to see what they really experience. Learn how their departments, benefits, friends, and families have failed them. Find out what it's really like to walk the path of an emotionally or physically injured officer and why the belief that every officer is supported and cared for through the thin blue line is a fallacy. Like Hearts Beneath the Badge the proceeds of this book will benefit law enforcement charities.


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