The other day a friend reminded me about the book “Emotional survival for law enforcement: A guide for officers and their families” by Dr. Kevin Gilmartin. She had asked if I read it, and I told her yes-my husband got a copy when he was at academy.
Fast forward to this year when I pulled it off the shelf and re-read it, thought “man, this is a good read” and at the same time thought “I should do a book review!” which then turned into “I should make this a monthly thing!” So, in the span of about three minutes, I decided to 1. Re-read this book, 2. Write a review, and 3. Make it a monthly thing to do a book review of some type of LEO-related book, resource, or devotional.
I got pretty excited about it, because it gives me an excuse to indulge my nerdy side a little bit more. I’ve always loved to read, but as I’ve gotten older (and finished with school) my reading time has really taken a dip.
So, back to the book! Emotional Survival serves as a quick, concise peek into the world of law enforcement. It seems to be one of “the” books in the blue community for both officers and their families. It’s an easy read and keeps your attention-it doesn’t feel textbook-y or lecture-y. It discusses some of the issues our officers face, like hyper-vigilance, shift work, and other common stressors in this line of work.
This book places a high importance on self care and emotional health, which (as someone in the mental health field) I LOVE! It’s also just so. darn. relatable. I guarantee that you will go “yeeeeeep!” and “totally!” several times while reading this.
My pet peeve of this book is that Dr. Gilmartin spends a lot of time talking about the effects of a law enforcement career but not a lot of time about what we can DO about it and how we can cope. There also seems to be some stereotyping of the “common LEO” but it does help get the point across.
If you haven’t already come across this book, or if you’ve had it recommended but have left it to gather dust on your shelf, I highly recommended you take an afternoon to snuggle up with your favorite blanket and glass of wine and page through it.
You can find it on Amazon here (this isn’t an affiliate link, I’m just another LEOW sharing some of my favorite reads!).
If you’ve already read it, let me know what you think!