Keeping the Peace for the Peace Keepers

Keeping the Peace for the Peace Keepers

Even with a handful of negative press and publicity, the great percentage of police protect us from the dark side of life and cope with the unimaginable. This life-saving film supports their wellness on all levels. The police are there for us. Let’s be there for them.


To Purchase a DVD for your own screening, connect with the director HERE.

Support this campaign directly HERE.


Why I’m Standing up for our Law Enforcement HERE.
Promotional Video of what officers have seen while on duty HERE.

A little bit of context

Out on the streets, police officers are given the task to uphold the laws and keep the peace. No matter your impression of officers, these are human beings who need to be in sound mind, steady emotion and physical balance. We need them to be at their best.

But there’s a problem

  • “More than any other occupation, law enforcement is an emotionally and physically dangerous job. Police officers continuously face the effects of murder, violence, rape, child abuse, accidents and disasters. Long hours, rotating shifts and constant exposure to tragedy exacts a heavy toll on police officers and their families.”
        ~ Researcher and therapist Beverly J. Anderson
  • Former Police Commander speaks on the rise of police suicide   HERE
  • According to Officer.com, there are an estimated 150,000 officers who have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI). Recent research indicates that 1/3 of active-duty and retired officers suffer from post-traumatic stress, with some unaware of this condition.
  • The Badge of Life Organization states law enforcement officers are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. With over 100 suicides per year – the #1 one killer of police officers is … law enforcement suicide.
  • The rise of social media has helped to sensationalize the more unfavorable views of police officers, bringing more negativity and therefore more stress to those in the field.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

  • We have created a 35-minute educational training film – “Keeping The Peace: Mental and Emotional Wellness For All Law Enforcement” – that brings awareness to the stresses and traumas experienced by officers and law enforcement personnel while on duty in order to empower them to normalize their emotional and mental responses and to take action in alleviating, diffusing and treating the symptoms of trauma.
  • The purpose is for these officers to receive the clear message that they do have options in dealing with the stresses, and they can retain wellness in all areas of their lives.
  • The purpose is to make sure we give retiring officers back to their families as healthy citizens: emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
  • As the documentary – filmed in San Diego but shared with police departments nationwide – makes its rounds, we will see a cultural shift, as officers are seen as humans needing the same sort of support we all need. The shift will improve relations between the public and law enforcement, something greatly needed today.
  • A larger purpose will be the change of a culture, where officers know it’s safe to receive the support they desperately need but may not feel free to ask for.
  • The largest purpose is the vision of peace officers who truly keep the peace, for themselves, our neighborhoods, and our society.
  • This documentary will have the same sort of long-lasting impact that Legacy Productions’ previous documentary “Indoctrinated” has had. See that documentary HERE: https://youtu.be/uBqm4VLogxY
  • A world premiere May 14, 2019 at the “Peace and Justice Theatre” on the University of San Diego campus drew over 200 officers, citizens and chiefs in order to see the film, hold a panel discussion and listen to speakers – all in the drive for wellness of body, mind, spirit and community.

You Can Join Us

  • Inclusion – Let us know if you or a contact would be a helpful addition to the footage to be used in a future Wellness Training throughout California.
  • Promotion – Getting the word out by sharing this webpage as well as forwarding other social media posts about this project.
  • Fundraising – We are raising funds to cover costs of further dissemination of the film, in public forums and in mailings to agencies throughout the nation. Click HERE.

Endorsements

Summer Stephan, San Diego District Attorney
https://youtu.be/b-MEOuzgpnk

Stephanie Samuels, Founder and Director of Copline, Inc.
https://youtu.be/7oAEIY0x7FM

Deanna Dotta, of the Wellness Unit San Diego Police Department
https://youtu.be/PjntCKvmof8

Heather Seddon, Detective, San Diego Police Department
https://youtu.be/nPTOdo1HSjo

Sarah Creighton, Retired Assistant Chief, San Diego Police Department
https://youtu.be/THjqF328q7w

Phillip C. Tingirides, Ret. Deputy Chief / Commanding Officer, LAPD with 38 years of service
https://youtu.be/NfKz3hZxaA8

Manuel Rodriguez, Ret. Chief, National City Police Department
https://youtu.be/ZoXpycOeetg

Retired captain of the La Mesa Police Department, Author of “Bulletproof Spirit”
https://youtu.be/YnU7265rf9s

Lori Luhnow, Police Chief, Santa Barbara Police Department
https://youtu.be/Jhqeu4jxyvE

Terry McManus, Police Chief, Capitola Police Department
https://youtu.be/5mc9q9z2A_E

Erin Hubbard, Chaplain, SDPD Mid-City Division
https://youtu.be/ELC6nXOUOwE

Dr. Sara Gilman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., President of the Coherence Associates Inc
https://youtu.be/ylQFY4iiG9A

_________________________________________________________________________

UPDATES

SEPTEMBER 1

As the news-of-the-day is revealing, it’s definitely time to take a stand for healed relations between law enforcement and the public, as well as for the emotional and mental wellness of all our officers. The DVD “Keeping The Peace” is still available, and for all the departments across the country that showed early interest without obtaining your copy – don’t give up! Contact me, we’ll figure out some way to get you this invaluable and inspirational tool. As Dr. Sara Gilman said, after sharing the film to the San Diego Harbor Police Department, “Thanks Jim; the film had a big impact!”

WELLNESS TRAINING IN CALIFORNIA

As noted previously, Legacy Productions is a key consultant on a project led by the non-profit Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT), which was awarded a 2-year grant from POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training). The final result will be a 1- or 2-day wellness training taken throughout California. The latest news is a working title: “Beyond Surviving: From Traumatic Stress to Wellness.” As well, we may have a specific success story to tell, which will uplift as well as guide and focus the participants in the audience.

 

MEETINGS CITY!

There have been a number of powerful meetings in the past month, all pointing towards an uplifted community that joins forces rather than polarizes with our law enforcement.

  • August 6 – A meeting with the VP of Security at Qualcomm Corporation and IVAT to build a relationship that could potentially create wellness events using the “Keeping The Peace” film.
  • August 13 – A Policing Community Forum at the National City Care Community Center – with District Attorney Summer Stephan presenting.
  • August 21 – A meeting with La Mesa Sergeant Tim Purdy as well as author and former Captain Dan Willis, to begin planning a possible inclusion of Tim’s story in the Wellness Training that will go throughout California.
  • August 26 – A Community Feedback Session at USD’s Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, with DA Stephan and others, reviewing a 25-year study of police involved shootings, with group discussion of strategies to reduce and eliminate these.

 

APPEARANCE – PSPSA CONVERENCE

At the beautiful Paradise Point in San Diego, I’ll be presenting a “Keeping The Peace” film and discussion at the Public Safety Peer Support Association Conference. Right in my own backyard. More HERE.

 

KUSI TV – HI MOM!

Another opportunity to be on the small screen. I was joined by Dr. Morgan Shaw, medical director of IVAT, to talk about the upcoming POST-certified Wellness Training. Of course, somehow that topic never came up. But it was valuable experience to share about the upcoming IVAT Summit Conference and the film. See HERE.

IVAT SESSION – SEPTEMBER 6 

The “Keeping the Peace” project will be highlighted in a session at IVAT’s 24th International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma Across the Lifespan on 4 p.m., Friday, September 6 in La Jolla. The session – Warning Signs and Strategies to Manage Stress and Trauma for Law Enforcement – will include El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis and LAPD Sergeant Edan D’Angelo. I’ve invited and secured a spot for 15 law enforcement VIPs, whose relations will be important moving forward with our CA Wellness Training strategy. To attend click HERE.

 

JESSICA’s POLICING THROUGH THE PAIN BLOG

I was interviewed in August by the amazingly ambitious Jessica Dockstader, who is making great strides with our communities. The interview and her blog is found by clicking HERE.

 


AUGUST 1

We won’t be done until there is peace – in the minds of our peacekeepers and within the relations between our police and our community. Our society counts on it. We have a ways to go. Within the last two months, NYPD has experienced five officer suicides. So the need is stronger than ever. On the positive front, we are up to a count of 35 states, where at least one law enforcement agency has reached out to obtain the “Keeping The Peace” film. (Welcome North Dakota!) Here is what else happened in July:

POST GRANT KICKOFF

The planning has started for taking the good word of Officer Wellness on the road! Legacy Productions is a key consultant on a project led by the non-profit Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, which was awarded a 2-year grant from POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training). The final result will be a 1- or 2-day wellness training taken throughout California. Pictured above is the kick-off meeting that took place the last day of the month, July 31 at the IVAT offices. High-powered consultants helping to create the training curriculum are: Jorge Duran, Chief Investigator of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, Dr. Sara Gilman, therapist and co-founder and president of Coherence Associates, Inc., Dan Willis, La Mesa Police Captain retired, author of “Bulletproof Spirit” and Mike Hertica, retired law enforcement and trainer.

 

RADIO SHOW

Thanks to Rodger Ruge of HeroTalk Podcast for having me the show! He creates a space for true exploration, towards our solutions. It got sort of intense in there around the negative perceptions of officers, but I hope it’s all valuable to those also wanting to bring on the peace. All on the same team! Link HERE.

 

QUALCOMM FOUNDATION

On July 9, I was joined by the wonderful Alicia Brav, consultant with the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, along with the awesome Bill Oakes of Qualcomm, as we were presented a check to support the dissemination of the “Keeping the Peace” film to law enforcement agencies nationwide. Pictured above is Brav along with IVAT’s top brass Sandi Capuano Morrison and Bob Geffner. The generosity of the Qualcomm Foundation San Diego Employee Giving Committee is so greatly appreciated. The committee awarded nine other groups doing important work for our communities, one of which included superstar basketball player Bill Walton. He’s the tall one in the picture below. 🙂

IVAT CONFERENCE

The “Keeping the Peace” project will be highlighted in a session at IVAT’s 24th International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma Across the Lifespan on 4 p.m., Friday, September 6 in La Jolla San Diego. Joining Jim Ellis for the session – Warning Signs and Strategies to Manage Stress and Trauma for Law Enforcement – will be El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis and LAPD Sergeant Edan D’Angelo, the latter having had five of his partners commit suicide over the years. This will be a powerful presentation for an audience of mostly therapists and advocates. To attend click HERE

 

HONORARY PATCH

In closing, how cool is this? I received an honorary patch in mid-July from the Thornton Police Department in Colorado for the work I did on the film in support of peace for the peacekeepers. Don’t worry folks. I won’t let it go to my head. Just don’t speed by me on the freeway, OK?

 


July 1

June was cool for the “Keeping The Peace” project, and we’re just getting warmed up as we focus on a positive impact that will ultimately go international.

  • The response since the May 14 premiere has been amazing. A story in the San Diego Union Tribune was picked up by the LA Times, which ended up in a national online police magazine PoliceOne.com. Since then, over 100 agencies throughout 33 states and even into Canada have requested the film.
  • On June 7, a guest spot on KUSI TV News highlighted the film, with supportive appearances from Sheriff Bill Gore and El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis. See it HERE.

On June 6, I was joined by Dr. Morgan Shaw of the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT), along with Bill Oakes of Qualcomm, as we all three presented before the Qualcomm Foundation San Diego Employee Giving Committee. We were given four minutes exactly to inform the audience the purpose of the project and how we would utilize any funding the committee awarded us. More on this later. Though here is a clue: we did get invited to participate in Qualcomm’s “Summer on the Lawn” event in July.

  • Meetings have begun with IVAT, as we started the process of building a “Wellness Training” curriculum, funded through a grant from Police Officers Standards and Training (POST), to train law enforcement throughout California over the next two years.
  • The film will be highlighted in a session at IVAT’s 24th International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma Across the Lifespan in September in San Diego.
  • The film along with the filmmaker was highlighted on a podcast called “Chats with Susan Burrell.” We share the same passion for healing, as well as the same birthday. Little known fact. Ha. Hear it HERE.

  • I am set to be a guest on another podcast, HeroTalk, dedicated to officer wellness, on July 2.
  • There is a request out there for me to be able to present the film at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) meeting in Chicago in October.
  • Whether or not we gain audience in front of all the chiefs, I will definitely be having a screening at my father’s house in Huntington Beach next week, along with my wife, my sister and her family. That’s been in the works for awhile. Popcorn courtesy of Grace Mendoza.

Keeping you up to date and ways we can all keep the peace.

 


June 1, 2019

Well, it happened!

It was magical. A dream that came true after 2 years – a year of visioning and planning, a year of interviews, meetings, filming, editing, sweating. Over 200 attendees at the USD Peace and Justice Theatre on May 14 at the world premiere of “Keeping The Peace.”

Dr. Sara Gilman spoke eloquently about resiliency, a panel of police and community members covered the topic of improving relations, Detective Heather Seddon spoke about overcoming adversity to return to the profession she loves. And even an altruistic poet recited a poem from the heart. A very high vibration evening, full of connections, purpose and celebration. No matter the societal landscape and the social media onslaught, we shall continue to endeavor to keep the peace.  (Pictured below: District Attorney Summer Stephan and Alicia Brav of IVAT, Daniel Orth of the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice facilitates the panel, and Sara Gilman keynote speaker.)

Responses

The response since the premiere has been amazing. A story in the San Diego Union Tribune was picked up by the LA Times, which ended up in a national police magazine PoliceOne.com.

Because of the publicity, there is interest in having a segment filmed for the KUSI Morning Show in San Diego. As well, there has been requests from the following states to receive the film’s DVD:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and even Washington DC and Victoria, BC, Canada!

The May 14 Premiere event was supported by many generous people, including but not limited to these fine folks:

  • Summer Stephan – District Attorney of San Diego
  • Jay Nagdimon Ph.D., ABPP
  • Nancy Bohl of The Counseling Team www.TheCounselingTeam.com
  • Kris Olivas, Center for Counseling & Integrative Healing www.ccihsd.org.
  • Rodger Ruge at www.HeroTalk.org
  • UC San Diego Health – David Mier
  • SDPEBA / AFLAC – William Stover
  • Barona Resort & Casino – Jerika Edison
  • Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma
  • USD Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice – Jessica Dockstader and Daniel Orth

It’s been a long journey. So glad to have arrived in this place, where the initial product is complete, it has gained much interest, and there is a continued intention to keep the peace for our officers, all law enforcement personnel, each first responder and a community at large.

We’ll keep the momentum.

Thanks, in part, to you.

Peace.


May 1, 2019

THE MAY 14 EVENT

So here we are! This is it folks.

It’s been exactly one year to the date that I started this campaign! In two weeks, on May 14, the evening will be here where we gather at a prestigious and beautiful local theater to premiere “Keeping The Peace.” Reserve your tickets now for this exclusive event if you haven’t already. Open to the public. You and a guest!

RSVP HERE. Please do not wait. Officers, chiefs, border patrol, chaplains, counselors, peace activists, caring community members … This promises to be an eye-opening and heart-opening event.

It’s been a pleasure to extend invitations to a number of people in the public eye and of prominence. Besides all the police chiefs and Sheriff Bill Gore, I have invited a number of political represenatives. Below I am in the California State Capital, where Senator Brian Jones is seen holding one of the event flyers. All have been very gracious and receptive to the idea of acknowledging and supporting our law enforcement.


THE LOCATION

I had to wait until it was officially approved. But we got it. The presigious Peace and Justice Theater on the University of San Diego Campus. Could there be a better name of a location for such an event? Peace. Justice. Yes!


FUNDRAISING

You have all helped keep this project moving. At one point, I believed the film would simply appear at an event already established during National Police Week. But guess what? There really are no local San Diego events during that week. Well, not until this one, which I hope will become an annual affair.

There are costs for final film production, the effort and time to market the event, as well as funding needed for duplicating and dissemenating this film to interested parties, which include specific departments as far as Wisconsin, Missouri and New Jersey. If you would like to forward this on to those you believe would find value, please do so. We are about 70 percent to our established goal.


THANK YOUS

Though there will be the public acknowledgment of specific sponsors, contributors and supporters on May 14, here are some special folks for whom I am forever grateful.

  • Dr. Sara Gilman
  • Sarah Creighton – Wellness Champion, Ret Asst. Chief
  • The California Coast Credit Union – Victoria Kammerzell and Joshua Varon
  • Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice – Daniel Orth and Jessica Dockstader
  • The San Diego Police Foundation – KC McCarthy and Sara Napoli
  • Deanna Dotta – Wellness Unit SDPD
  • Detective Heather Seddon (and husband Brian)
  • Summer Stephan – District Attorney of San Diego
  • Chief Craig Carter of Escondido
  • Cheif Jeff Davis of El Cajon
  • UC San Diego Heath – David Mier
  • My father Jim
  • My wife Jennifer, and Hennessy (that’s our dog, really)
  • Those participating on May 14!
  • You, as contributors to the cause of peace everywhere!

Without the constant encouragement and belief from you all, this event, film and movement would not be. Thank you all.

Let’s all keep the peace.

April 1, 2019

The countdown has begun. Save the date: the evening of Tuesday, May 14, 2019. A special event to premiere the short film “Keeping The Peace” and to acknowledge the work done by law enforcement during National Police Week. So much of the honoring during this week is routinely for those who have fallen or passed away. We’ll extend the acknowledgement to all of those officers still with us and on the force. The event will also include a guest speaker, a panel of experts and a ceremony to gift the police departments with the film / care package.

  • The location for the event is being finalized this week. I so want to tell you the exciting news of the prospective locale, which is amazing, but I have to hold off until it’s secured. More soon.
  • In late March I did the final filming of Detective Heather Seddon, a success story in the film. In the interview, she completed the phrase “I have seen…” but as opposed to the other montage (Seen here), these memories are of the great and uplifting things she has seen while on duty. It will create a wonderful bookend in the film, revealing the positive sides of the work.
  • I will soon be meeting with Daniel Orth, Program Officer for Strategic Peacebuilding at Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. There is a potential partnership here, as he helps direct the “Building Trust Partnership,” which is an initiative created in 2017 to restore the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
  • I also met with the Sheriff Deptment’s Community Relations Director and a commanding officer, so we could map out some plans for potential participation of the sheriffs.
  • New footage is on the way from these sources:
    • San Diego Border Patrol
    • A New York officer
    • A former Dallas Police Department officer, Chris Wood, who was off duty but in the city when five of his officer friends were gunned down that horrible day July 7, 2016.
  • There will be more details upcoming about the special event. If you would like to be more involved in its production, help is needed. Reach out to me.

Please pass this along to anyone you believe would find it of interest, or who could support in the crowdfunding. Thank you.

Uplifting all for the good of the community.

March 12, 2019

T-60. Game on!

In 60 days exactly, starting May 12, 2019 it will be National Police Week. Now I know this topic doesn’t get a ton of fanfare from the common folk, however my vision includes more than simply supporting officers in their mental and emotional “wellness” (as vital as that is). This will be about the health of a community, and joining forces for the good – and the peace – of all. Keeping the Peace!

At times, I’ve experienced push-back through the process. Who wants to support a law enforcement when it appears there is so much negativity surrounding them? And how many of us want to truly look deeply at the depth of mental and emotional health? Who has the courage to take down the mask, in a safe setting, and ask for the support they need? Whether it’s a sworn officer or civilian, this is not always natural.

But I too have to be go beyond the comfort zone and ask for support.

With a big vision, I won’t be able to do this alone. T-60, Game on! The vision is to premiere the “Keeping The Peace” short documentary at a local San Diego event that honors officers and their wellness while in the living, not simply in memoriam after they pass.

Keeping The Peace” will be shown, special guests will speak, and we’ll highlight a panel of experts in the field of law enforcement, healing and health. I have a number of potential speakers and experts who would, I believe, be very ready to participate. And this would include counselors, a chaplain as well as potentially some chiefs.

If anyone has support along these lines, please message me:

  1. Partipate on a team who can help in brainstorming, coordinating and producing the logistics of such an event. (Couple of conference calls, e-mails)
  2. Forward the fundraising link below to help defray the costs of the logistics.
  3. Offer a contact with a great location to house an audience and a film screening.
  4. Send a kind word or thought of encouragement as we make our way to healthy relations for us all.

As always, thanks for being on this path with me. Coming down to the wire.

T-60!

March 1

The month of February saw so much amazing progress for the “Keeping the Peace” project.

  • The vision remains the same: During “National Police Week” which starts May 12, a special event in San Diego will premiere the 30-minute film as well as highlight a panel of experts discussing what is needed for the emotional and mental wellness of law enforcement.
  • Fundraising for this special event as well as final production costs are moving forward. Please forward this campaign to any supportive parties you may know.
  • On February 26, I had the honor of visiting the National City Police Department and interviewing both Police Chief Jose Tellez as well as Sergeant Steve Shephard, the latter providing uplifting words about the support he receives from his leadership. Grasp the passion HERE.
  • As this is being written on Friday, Border Patrol Chief Rodney S. Scott is being interviewed on how his border agents must face and then address the stresses encountered on the San Diego border. This footage will be fully engaging.

  • I had the distinct pleasure of joining Dr. Sara Gilman and host Teri Wellbrock in “The Healing Place Podcast” sharing in depth about the project and the vision of the peace that is to come. See the show HERE.
  • On February 26 I interviewed Captain Tina Williams of the San Diego Police Department. She was the commanding officer when Heather Seddon was shot in the neck. She was able to share about Officer Seddon’s resiliency and comeback story, a main focus of the “Keeping The Peace” film.
  • Showing the national reach of this project, we were able to get an interview with east coast officer Josh Oliveri. He reveals in a very transparent and raw way how officers on the East Coast must also deal with trauma and find a way to deal with it for the wellness of themselves, their families and those they serve.
  • And finally, it was an honor to participate once more with Game Changer, a program wherein officers and citizens join together for a three-hour brainstorming session to determine solutions to foster positive relations between the public and the police. Continuing to strive … for the peace of all.

February 1

The countdown has begun. The timeline is set. Here we go.

  • The week of May 12, 2019 – during National Police Week – contacts from across the country will be gifting a copy of the educational film Keeping The Peace to police departments throughout San Diego county and throughout the nation. I love a solid deadline.
  • Since I have hours and hours of footage, short vignettes covering specific topics will also be produced, for most impactful use. Topics include Warning Signs of PTSD, Prevention, Treatment, Visions of Wellness, as well as the Success Story of San Diego Police Department’s Detective Heather Seddon, who overcame the trauma of being shot in the neck during a foot pursuit.
  • One brief vignette – called “I Have Seen” – recounts the more harsh experiences officers have had to deal with on a routine basis. This montage, as yet to be approved by the SDPD for public display, is intended to bring viewers into their hearts, for the sake of understanding and compassion for what our officers face. Said Deanna Dotta of the SDPD’s Wellness Unit said, “Wow. It was hard to watch. Very emotional for me. As usual, done in excellent fashion!” I’ll send the link next week after it has been cleared for broadcasting.
  • Excited to have on board a new sponsor and supporter. The San Diego Police Foundation. A wonderful connection with these fine folks doing good works for our force. Thank you Sara Napoli and KC McCarthy!
  • A special event in May is being planned in San Diego, where the film can be shown, a panel of experts and influencers can be gathered, and an audience can be inspired towards co-creating a peaceful community with successful relations between law enforcement and the public.
  • Speaking of solid relations between public and police, I’ll be attending the February 20 meeting of “Game Changer,” wherein a number of law enforcement personnel and chosen citizens congregate in a room for three hours to discuss issues in order to find the best ways to join forces. Thank you Sean Sheppard and Celina Ner!
  • Though dealing with their own levels of stress nowadays, the San Diego Border Patrol is working on filming interviews that will be used in “Keeping The Peace.” Thank you Robert Reedy!
  • I’ll be attending the February 6 “All Chiefs Meeting,” for my next 5 minutes of focused fame, in order to give an update on the project and request specific support regarding possible grants to fund the project.
  • I continue to be in conversations with other potential supporters – UCSD Healthcare, Smart and Final, Verizon, and others – who may offer sponsorship, promotion or site locations for the special events.

If you have any ideas on any of the above, or ways to continue the momentum towards the week of May 12, please drop me a line.

Thank you everyone!

January 1

Happy New Year to you supporters of peace for all … including our peace keepers. The January 1 update is a quick one.

So much of the month of December was focused on building relationships with businesses, corporations and supportive associations and agencies that could be sponsors of the project. If you know any businesses or agencies that would like their logo on such a higher purpose project, please pass this along.

Sponsorship will include covering post-production as well as costs associated with disseminating the educational film care package nationwide Sunday, May 12 – Saturday, May 18, 2019, during what is known as National Police Week.

Editing is in full swing, as 95 percent of the filming is complete. I’m very excited about the soundtrack / background music that will thread through the poignant film. I found the music in December and the moment I heard it, I KNEW it was meant for this project. Touching, deep, healing and yet powerful.

Looking forward to the year that “Keeping The Peace” makes its full impact.

December 1

Moving towards completion on a project of higher purpose. A monthly update.

  • Today, November 30, outside a Starbucks in Kensington, I happened to bump into Sergeant Omar Sinclair, the same man who drove chaplain Erin Hubbard and me in a ride-along a couple months ago. I took this as a good sign that all is well with the project.
  • At the November All Chiefs’ meeting, I was able to capture the visions of the two outstanding police chiefs I had yet to interview: Carlsbad Chief Neil Gallucci and Coronado Chief Chuck Kaye. The latter giving an impassioned plea HERE: https://youtu.be/gT8mGl5jj0E
  • The project merely requires a few more pieces of footage, and the editing phase will be in full swing. This includes a clear soundbite of the importance of “mindfulness.” There is also talk of getting interviews with the NYPD and Homeland Security.
  • Another sector of law enforcement that will be part of the project is the San Diego Border Patrol, very much in the news of late. From a  Border Community Liaison Agent, “We fully support the project and would like to work with you and have the Chief record answers to your questions.” Do you think these officers have much stress and even trauma to deal with in recent weeks?
  • For the remainder of the year, besides beginning the editing phase, I’ll be reaching out to other possible sponsors to help fund the final production costs. Every bit helps, including a contribution that came in today from a contact in Michigan I do not personally know!
  • In considering the actual date of delivery to police departments nationwide, we are looking at Sunday, May 12 – Saturday, May 18, 2019, during what is known as National Police Week. 

Thank you for your support as we bring peace to all – officers, law enforcement, and those they serve.

November 1

More momentum on a project of higher purpose. A monthly update.

On October 16, I was able to attend the Public Safety Peer Support Association Conference in San Diego, where I interviewed Lorenzo Glenn, a Lieutenant from the Anaheim Police Department. He has known officers who have committed suicide, and has no problem in endorsing the idea that every officer must know it’s OK for them to ask for help. A change of culture is happening. See here: https://youtu.be/NXfpnjiAi0M

Even though I don’t drink coffee or normally get up too early in the morning, I spent some of the A.M. on October 25 at Starbucks in Hillcrest at an event called “Coffee With A Cop.” It’s all part of the process of bridging the two forces – public and police – into one force for the good of the community. Some would rather keep law enforcement as foes, but they might not see the difference even one conversation could make.

Spent a great night on October 19 with the local Game Changer group, which gathered a number of San Diego community members along with law officers from Fullerton, border patrol and SDPD. The founder Sean Sheppard is pictured below in the upper right corner. The drive was to find solutions to closing the gaps between the public and the police – something “Keeping The Peace” project promises to do.

In other news on the project, I am in conversations with the Founder and President of the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma to partner on a 1- to 2-year project that would cover all types of first responders and their ability to address and treat trauma. A white paper has been sent along to the San Diego District Attorney for her team’s consideration.

On the fundraising front, discussions are being made with other angel investors, companies and businesses, which would be able to join the California Coast Credit Union as a sponsor.

Keeping it going, until we can continually “keep the peace” for all.

October 1

It’s an honor and a pleasure to bring you this update on a project you have helped to make happen.

  • We have a new sponsor that is supporting the “Keeping The Peace” project. The wonderful and caring people at California Coast Credit Union. Thank you Victoria and Joshua. Your company’s logo shall appear in the credits and in future promotions.

  • Other sponsors have arisen, though since I have yet to clear their level of anonymity, we’ll save the formal announcements for later. Other businesses, corporations and individuals interested in sponsorship can contact me directly for a White Paper and any other details needed.
  • I conducted a different type of interview with SDPD detective Heather Seddon, who was shot in the neck after a foot pursuit two years ago. Her comeback story will be a focal point in the film. This interview was special since it took place at the site of the shooting incident. Though challenging for her, the interview relates a powerful statement of facing and overcoming past traumas.

  • I completed a montage of various Chiefs of Police to highlight the support of the commanding officers as well as to help promote the vision of this project. So far, the video has received a very positive response. Watch it HERE: https://youtu.be/Lj9Vz-qnPLU
  • A couple of comments from the chiefs below.

SDPD Police Chief David Nisleit: “I watched the video last night and thought it was tremendous. Thank you for taking on this much needed project.”

Ed Aceves, Coronado Police Chief: “Well done! This is so needed for our officers.  We are way behind in the area of officer wellness and I believe your work will help propel things forward. Thank you for your commitment to this area.”

The contacts who have already been reached and who will ultimately receive the complete film include:

  • Sheriff Bill Gore – San Diego County
  • Chief Walt Vasquez – La Mesa Police Department
  • Chief Frank S. McCoy – Oceanside Police Department
  • Chief Manuel Rodriguez – National City Police Department
  • Chief David Nisleit – San Diego Police Department
  • Chief Jeff Davis – El Cajon Police Department
  • Chief Roxanna Kennedy – Chula Vista Police Department
  • Chief Ed Aceves – Coronado Police Department
  • Chief Mark G. Stainbrook – Port of San Diego, Harbor Police
  • Chief Lori Luhnow – Santa Barbara Police Department
  • Chief Terry McManus – Capitola Police Department
  • Chief Craig Carter – Escondido Police Department
  • Deputy Chief / Commanding Officer Phillip Tingirides – LAPD
  • San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan
  • Chief Neil Gallucci – Carlsbad Police Department
  • Chief Jennifer Tejada – Emeryville Police Department

This film will be dedicated in part to the memory of Ed Thompson, a marriage and family therapist at Inner Peace Counseling Services who worked closely with the Escondido Police Department’s PERT program. Having lost his own battle with mental health in 2018, we will keep alive his desire to promote everyone’s “inner peace.”

September 14

On September 13, I had the great privilege of speaking with Erin Hubbard, the chaplain of the San Diego PD, Mid-city Division. On film, he spoke passionately about his love for the officers and the ways he can support their well-being as well as the families’ well-being. His endorsement is here: https://youtu.be/ELC6nXOUOwE

Part of his duty is to go along with the officers on their patrols and the incident calls. I rode along with both Mr. Hubbard and Sgt. Omar Sinclairof the SDPD to capture footage as well as document the way the chaplain serves the officers who serve our community.

Also on this day, we started to receive input from family members who are relaying their highest vision of wellness for their loved ones who serve on the force. They are finishing the sentence “What I want for my loved one is…” This will be a powerful montage towards the film’s ending.

On September 12, we got clearance to use our insightful interview with Dr. Jay Nagdimon, police psychologist currently working for the LAPD in its Behavioral Sciences Services unit. His vast experience in the field is immensely valuable to the officers, and to this film.

September 5

Had a very productive day, a DREAM DAY, in terms of capturing needed footage for the “Keeping The Peace” project that supports first responders / police in addressing and preventing post traumatic injuries. A sensitive subject, but one that must be approached directly.

Today, had the honor of attending the All Chiefs/Sheriff meeting where I was able to capture soundbites from the Chiefs from Chula Vista, Harbor Police, El Cajon, La Mesa, Escondido, Oceanside, the SDPD, Coronado, and also the San Diego County Sheriff and the San Diego District Attorney.

Click picture for endorsement from the District Attorney here:

Each was gracious, humble and so caring about their officers’ wellness. I was overwhelmed by what they delivered. I KNOW that their words of encouragement in this film will help shift a culture where officers asking for necessary mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual support becomes commonplace.

This will help everyone in ALL our communities. Shifting perceptions and experiences to become one force in the good for us all.

August 29

Carlsbad Chief of Police Neil Gallucci – In the middle of the month I had a great conversation with Chief Gallucci about what his department is doing for officer’s wellness. He is very open to being a principle interview for the project.

Lori Luhnow, Police Chief, Santa Barbara Police Department – With the help of former Assistant Chief of SDPD Sarah Creighton, I was able to connect with Chief Luhnow who was in town presenting a class to law enforcement lieutenants. She spoke candidly and passionately. See endorsement here: https://youtu.be/Jhqeu4jxyvE

Jennifer Tejada, Police Chief of Emeryville, CA – I spoke today August 29 via phone with this amazing chief. Four years ago, she was spiraling down and needed help herself. She found it in “mindfulness” modalities such as meditation and biofeedback. She now offers such techniques to her department, and every week she hears from another interested party wanting to learn more about what she is doing for what she calls “the humans behind the badge.”

Heather and Brian – I was privileged to interview the success story of this film Heather Seddon and her husband Brian at their Oceanside home. It is so important to hear from the family members, as they are intimately involved in their loved one’s well being. In this case, they spoke of the traumatic 2015 incident where Heather was shot in the neck after a foot pursuit of a suspect. Both Brian and Heather were very open and honest about their responses to this life-changing and yet life-affirming experience.

On The Scene – In the upcoming week, I will be filming Heather at the site where the shooting incident took place. She has told the story many times. I believe having film footage of her recounting the story at the precise location will make the story more immediate and impacting for the audience.

Terry McManus, Police Chief, Capitola Police Department – Along with Chief Tejada, Chief McManus was in town teaching a class to law enforcement lieutenants. He too believes a solid focus is needed on officer wellness. See him here: https://youtu.be/5mc9q9z2A_E

All Chief’s Meeting – I will be attending the September 5 meeting where all the local chiefs are in attendance, requesting a short soundbite from each around their support of wellness for their officers. Nothing gives a bigger green light to ask for and get the needed help than a commanding officer’s endorsement.

Sponsorship – Over this month I’ve also reached out to a five potential sponsors for this project, in the drive to ultimately find an agency, business or angel donor whose support for these officers and the belief in this higher purpose project inspires them to fund “Keeping The Peace.”

August 10

The Beat Goes On….

A brief update on an educational film that will save lives.

Today, August 10, I was honored to present with Victor Resendez, retired special agent of the DOJ, at the Sunrise Rotary. Got a lot of positive comments from the crowd, open to the idea of supporting officers in their wellness and the project dedicated to this. One young person here even said we should present in schools as well, broadening our audience. Valuable feedback every time we present.

On August 3, I traveled up to Encinitas to interview Dr. Sara Gilman – Psy.D., L.M.F.T., President of the Coherence Associates Inc. We were able to film a session of the healing modality called EMDR, which will be outlined in the film. She is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Hear her share about her excitement about “Keeping The Peace” HERE: https://youtu.be/ylQFY4iiG9A

On July 19, I interviewed Deanna Dotta of the San Diego Police Department’s Wellness Unit. This dynamite woman, who has been a dispatcher in her career, offered smart and yet heartfelt answers to my questions, all directed to the result of ensuring our officers get support around their health in body, mind and spirit. She talked of officers having to symbolically carry rock upon rock in a backpack, where over time their emotional and mental health can become a heavy burden. Awareness and solutions will be highlighted in “Keeping The Peace.” See her HERE: https://youtu.be/PjntCKvmof8

On July 16, I had the honor of interviewing Field Training Officer Heather Seddon, who two years ago was shot in the neck after an on-foot pursuit. Her success story, returning to duty, will inspire many in the film. See her HERE: https://youtu.be/nPTOdo1HSjo

Later in the month, I’ll complete my interview with Heather (just promoted to Detective) in two settings: 1. Her home, speaking alongside her husband about her recovery – in all phases physically, mentally and emotionally.  2. At the site of her shooting, as she retells the story in which she nearly lost her life.

On Monday, August 13, I’ll be speaking with the Carlsbad Chief of Police Neil Gallucci about how he ensures wellness is kept at the forefront for his officers. As I understand it, he is a strong proponent of such well-being for his staff.

By the end of this month, I should have 95 percent of the filming complete, with an eye on editing in the following two months.

A date for the Public Presentation of the film is still in the works. My vision is to have representatives from all around the nation to present this film to various police departments.

Fundraising is still ongoing, though not received through Chuffed any longer. Sponsors can connect with me directly through: LegacyProductions.

… More happening behind the scenes.

… More soon coming your way.

July 24

A flurry of activity over the past week has me wanting to update you once more for the month, on this higher purpose project that you have helped get off the ground.

  • Monday, July 23 was an amazing day where I took the trafficky trip up to lovely LaLa Land where I could conduct three vital interviews:
    • Deputy Chief / Commanding Officer Phillip Tingirides of the LAPD. He spoke with the insight of 38 years of service about what officers go through and ways we can bridge relations between community and the force.  (See him HERE)

    • A clinical psychologist who works extensively with officers in their mental health wellness. More on that later.
    • Stephanie Samuels, the Director and Founder of Copline, Inc, is a licensed clinical social worker with a passion to ensure law enforcement officers get all the support they need – from recruit through retirement. She oversees over 20 retired officers in answering a hotline 24/7 covering 41 states. (See her HERE)

  • I’ll soon be meeting with the Police Chief of the Sycuan Police Department. Schedules being set now.
  • On July 19, I was able to interview Deanna Dotta of the San Diego Police Department’s Wellness Unit. This dynamite woman, who has been a dispatcher in her career, offered smart and yet heartfelt answers to my questions.
  • On July 16, I had the honor of interviewing Field Training Officer Heather Seddon, who two years ago was shot in the neck after an on-foot pursuit. Her success story, returning to duty, will inspire many.
  • I’m looking to attend the next chief’s monthly meeting in August, with the intention of grabbing a 30-second sound bite from each chief, commenting on their own vision of wellness for their officers. Wish me luck!

The plan is to finish off the filming through July and August and then spend two months editing for a release date towards the end of the year.

July 11

The news just gets better and better. It’s amazing to think that only three months ago I had no solid police contacts to interview. Flash forward to today, where I had the audience of all the Chiefs of Police in the San Diego County. Amazing progress. Details below!

  • Chiefs of Police Meeting – Today, July 11, I was given time at the Chiefs of Police monthly meeting in San Diego to deliver my vision and my passion about the project. There were about 20 people in the room including our city’s District Attorney. My “ask” was to get a 30-second soundbite from each of the chiefs commenting on their vision of wellness for their officers. I know it would make a great montage in the film, giving the green light for all officers who may need the boost to request the support they need around their mental and emotional wellness.
  • Sarah Creighton – Was happy to conduct an eye-opening interview with the retired Assistant Chief for the San Diego Police Department. An amazing woman, Sarah created an umbrella of training and oversight for all of the Wellness Units when she started the SDPD unit in 2011. She has a wealth of knowledge, from years of experience.  (See her HERE)
  • Stephanie Samuels – I chatted with Stephanie, President and Founder of “Copline,” about the work done by those on the phones for this 24-hour service line that officers can use to support them through any tough times. I will be interviewing her up in Los Angeles later in this month, along with hopefully some officers from the LAPD.
  • Heather Seddon – This wonderful officer, who had to overcome the trauma of being shot in the neck, was given permission to speak on camera and tell her story – how she faced the trauma and worked through it. I’ll capture that story early next week. It will be a success story in the film.
  • Deanna Dotta – This dedicated member of the SDPD Wellness Unit will be part of an interview next week, as we highlight the great work being done in this department.
  • Dr. Sara Gilman – I had a great conversation with Dr. Sara Gilman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., President of the Coherence Associates Inc in Encinitas. She has worked extensively with officers in their treatment of PTSD, using a highly effective modality EMDR. More on that later. We’ll be able to interview Sara in the next two weeks. The big focus for her: prevention!
  • Rescue the Rescuer – Retired special agent of the DOJ, Victor Resendez and I were interviewed on an Internet Radio show, which focuses on the plight of first responders and the need to support their wellness on all levels. (Listen in HERE.)

July 3

I was so honored and thrilled to interview retired assistant chief Sarah Creighton today. She was present in 2011 to help develop the Wellness Unit at the San Diego Police Department. This gave a space for officers to deal with any emotional or mental trauma they faced in the line of duty. Groundbreaking then. And it’s only going to improve. The great work being done there will continue on, as documented in “Keeping The Peace,” an educational film to support officers in facing, treating and preventing any post-traumatic stress symptoms. This film will have positive rippling effects and touch lives in many ways. We’re on it! See her HERE.

Coherence Associates, Inc., MS, MFT, Marriage & Family Therapist in EncinitasI had a great conversation with Dr. Sara Gilman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., President of the Coherence Associates Inc in Encinitas. She has worked extensively with officers in their treatment of PTSD, using a highly effective modality EMDR. More on that later. We’ll be able to interview Sara in the next two weeks. The big focus for her: prevention!

JUNE 28

  • I am so excited to let you know that today I had the honor of interviewing Manuel Rodriguez, Chief of Police for the National City Police Department. He was articulate, positive and uplifting in his message about supporting his officers in their full state of wellness. The best part was our aligning on the highest vision for the film. (See that HERE.)
  • Chief Rodriguez and I spoke about the monthly Chief of Police meeting for July. He mentioned that he’ll see if I can attend and bring the concept of the project.
  • San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan is also following up on the agenda for this July meeting of the police chiefs.
  • I’m getting closer to confirming the male police officer who can provide his success story. Three candidates at present. This will provide a good example to accompany the story from Heather of the SDPD, who is already confirmed.
  • On June 27, which just by chance was PTSD Awareness Day, I was a guest on the radio show “Rescue the Rescuer” along with retired special agent Victor Resendez. It was a lively discussion about the plight of first responders, and how we need to ensure they are taken care of in ways not routinely considered. Victor kicked butt. So did Stephen, the host. The show will be broadcast in the next couple weeks HERE.
  • A funny one. I was interviewed by Leland Dieno for his podcast … AND I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE IT!  Ha. I somehow mistook an actual recording with a preliminary conversation, and after our phone call ended, I realized that this may have been recorded. I checked and, yup, that was the interview … recorded while I drove from Rubios to Starbucks on Broadway.  🙂  The link for this broadcast will be available in the next two weeks.
  • Chris, my close contact from New Jersey who has ties to the NYPD and Homeland Security, is supporting me with securing input from family members of police officers. I felt it important to hear from the family of officers, so Chris will help me in gathering some soundbites of their experiences. If you know of any family members of law enforcement who would want to contribute to this project, let me know and we can talk.
  • The Questions for Family include:
  1. What have you seen in the behavior of your loved one?  Answer by starting with the line “I have seen…”
  2. How has it impacted you in your life?
  3. What do you want for your loved one? (ie “I want to see them happy and relaxed”  “I want to go on vacations…”)

JUNE 27

Today is PTSD Awareness Day. The goal has always been to bring awareness to the topic of trauma experienced by law enforcement and first responders and then provide solutions to address, treat and prevent further symptoms of this trauma. That is the goal; the higher vision is peace for our peace keepers and for best relations between the police and the public. We’re all in this together.

Interviews are now set in the near future with:

  • Chief of Police Manual Rodriguez, National City (Video testimonial above)
  • Wellness Unit, San Diego Police Department
  • Commanding Officer, LAPD, Alfred Labrada
  • Retired Assistant Chief Sarah T. Creighton
  • Two present-day officers who have success stories to tell

JUNE 16

Big news is brewing for the “Keeping The Peace” film.  The project is exploding and I’m happy to report the update:
  • Heather Is a Yes! – A wonderful, open and transparent police officer in the San Diego Police Department got approval to speak on film about her experiences on the force and her healing from trauma. Heather was shot in the neck after a foot pursuit. Her comeback story into wellness will inspire many. We’ll be filming in two locales in early July – on the job in the Clairemont area, and her home with her supportive husband.
  • La Mesa Officer – I have two contacts who are reaching out to an officer Tim who has an incredible success story – coming back from his own post-traumatic injuries. This would help me round out the real-life “stories” of present-day officers for the film.
  • National City PD is a Yes! – I’m in conversation with Sgt. Shepard about the best time-table to interview appropriate personnel from this department, including the high possibility of the chief of police here.
  • NYPD, Homeland Security – I’m in contact with a supportive friend of mine, Chris, whose father was a commanding officer over 15,000 officers in the NYPD in the 1970s. Chris presently has connections with NYPD and Homeland Security, and will assist me in gathering various footage. He was 10 when his father was held hostage by the Black Panthers, and has his own trauma he has had to heal. He will tell his story.
  • Sycuan Police Department – A close contact is reaching out to this agency to speak with its chief.
  • Border Patrol – Another close contact is reaching out for commentary and participation from the nearby border patrol, which would have their own stories to tell.
  • On June 13, retired special forces agent Victor Resendez and I presented the project to the La Mesa Rotary. We were very well received by the club, and a number of contacts were made, including Jerry who brought the idea of expanding the audience of the film to law enforcement families, and officers who have already retired or left the force. Great idea Jerry!

    Victor front and center.

  • Chaplain is a Yes! – At the Rotary event a chaplain, Dani, introduced us and later agreed to be part of the film. I was searching for a chaplain to be a part of this, and there she was introducing me at an event!
  • On June 27, Victor and I will be the guests on an Internet radio show called Rescue the Rescuer (LINK HERE).
  • On August 10, I will be a guest at the local Sunrise Rotary off the 8 freeway and 70th street in San Diego. I’m still confirming who will co-lead this with me.
  • LAPD is a Yes! – A mutual friend got me in touch with an LAPD Commanding Officer who is willing to speak about how Peer Support and his agency helps officers needing to overcome any symptoms of stress and trauma. I am sending questions over so he can clear them with his Public Information Officer. The Los Angeles Sheriff will also be contacted in case I can film both on the same day.

There you go. So much good news!

Ready to tell a story of wellness, healing and hope. Thank you for your continued support.

JUNE 9

UPDATES / MOVING FORWARD

I filmed an interview with Nancy K. Bohl-Penrod, Ph.D., director of The Counseling Team International, which oversees officer support in agencies across the nation. This was an eye-opening interview that put a new vantage point on wellness for our law enforcement. Her bio HERE.

NBC TV’s Rory Devine is working on granting me permission to use footage from one of her story segments HERE. This San Diego Wellness Unit is supporting the project in varous ways.

Big News – The Chief of the National City Police Department has given the green light to support the film, and asks what ways the department can assit. I have asked if the chief himself, Manual Rodriguez, will go on camera stating his belief in officers receving support in their wellness. Think how huge that will be for all the officers below him in knowing how safe it would be to reach out for support.

On June 13, retired special forces agent Victor Resendez and myself will present the project to the La Mesa Rotary. PowerPoint all ready to roll!

On June 27, we’ll be the guests on an Internet radio show called Rescue the Rescuer (LINK HERE), whose audience are those same first responders who are dealing with results of post-traumatic stress, and look for the hope we all can share.

MAY 30

Hello!

Two more days before this campaign closes, midnight Thursday, May 31!!!

An update to our campaign to bring peace to the minds and hearts of the law enforcement, to the streets, and ultimately to the relations between the police and the public.

  • Along with an officer highlighted in the film, I have been invited to be a guest on the Radio Show “Rescue the Rescuer”. (Link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rescuetherescuer).
  • I’ll be joined by retired DOJ undercover agent Victor Resendez as we present the film project to the La Mesa Rotary on June 13. Polishing up a PowerPoint for this and other presentations to come.
  • I met the La Mesa police chief at a local gathering, we addressed the project, and he took documentation to review.
  • The San Diego District Attorney continues to be supportive of the project and wants to discuss my potential presentation at the gathering of the local Police Chiefs. I truly believe if we can have the chiefs participate in the film, endorsing the idea of officers getting the support they need around their wellness, it will change a culture where some may be concerned about asking for help.

I will continue to offer brief updates to this project, even after the completion of this particular campaign. This film will be made.

Thank you again for your support.

If you know anyone who has shared interest at all, let them know about the deadline: Tomorrow – Thursday, May 31, midnight.

May 23

Hello Sponsors,

New Update.

Keeping you all in the loop on the gift we are giving to the law enforcement agencies – both local and nationally. The progress on the educational film “Keeping The Peace” is gaining momentum!

The word is getting out about this project and people are talking about it, sharing it across social media. It’s a topic that goes under the radar for various reasons. At the same time, it’s a conversation we need to have. Lives are at stake.

I’ve reached out to 18 special interest groups that support police on the wellness front. Groups include the “National Alliance for Law Enforcement Support,” “National Police Wives Association” and “Stand With Blue Line.”

I will be presenting at the La Mesa Rotary on Wednesday, June 13, along with retired special agent Victor Resendez. We’ll have 30 minutes to present our PowerPoint on the effects of stress and trauma on law enforcement, and what can be done about it.

Much more is going on behind the scenes, but we’ll keep it here for now.

If you ever have any questions, please let me know.

It will take a team effort to see this through.

Thank you for being on this team.

May 14

Hey there supporters of the “Keeping The Peace” campaign.

Although it’s only been two weeks since I kicked off this project, there has been a flurry of activity. It’s true what they say: leap and see what happens!

And I wanted to give an abridged bulletpoint update for you all:

  • I interviewed 2 wonderfully genuine and authentic retired police officers (Victor Resendez and Valinda Sutton) about what they endured as officers, for a promotional video. (https://youtu.be/wl2vUSirTp0)
  • Dave Hall of the “CopLine” support hotline contacted me requesting we join forces on this project, as they provide a solution for officers suffering with PTSD.
  • Dan Willis, retired captain, author of “Bulletproof Spirit” and expert trainer on the topic of PTSD, was interviewed in depth about his knowledge on the subject. A short endorsement video was created. (https://youtu.be/YnU7265rf9s)
  • Deanna Dotta of the SDPD Wellness Unit is lining up two current officers to share their current story of overcoming PTSD through the wellness program.
  • I met with National City Police Department’s Sergeant Steve Shephard, who liked the project so much he is taking it to his chief, who is a huge proponent of wellness on the force.
  • I received a call from Nancy Bohl of the Counseling Team, which offers counseling to a number of agencies throughout Southern California. I will film her on May 21 as she will be in San Diego at a training.
  • A listing of 94 other contacts are organized in a spreadsheet, all potential contacts to make this gift a reality.

PRESS RELEASE

To help ease the post-traumatic stress that may haunt local police officers’ dreams and waking life, Lemon Grove resident and filmmaker James Anthony Ellis has taken on a project to document some of those traumatic triggers as well offer pathways of support.

A 30-minute educational film – titled “Keeping the Peace” – will be gifted to police agencies across San Diego and then the nation for in-house training of officers. The purpose? To bring awareness to the stresses and traumas experienced by officers and law enforcement personnel while on duty in order to empower them to normalize their emotional and mental responses to on-the-job experiences and to take action in alleviating, diffusing and treating the symptoms of trauma (PTSD), so that they can retain wellness in all areas of their lives.

Today’s stats can be grim:

  • According to Officer.com, there are an estimated 150,000 officers who have symptoms of Post Traumatice Stress Injuries (PTSI). Recent research indicates that 1/3 of active-duty and retired officers suffer from post-traumatic stress, with some unaware of this condition.
  • Badge of Life Organization states law enforcement officers are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. With over 100 suicides per year – the #1 one killer of police officers is … law enforcement suicide.
  • According to researcher and therapist Beverly J. Anderson: “More than any other occupation, law enforcement is an emotionally and physically dangerous job. Police officers continuously face the effects of murder, violence, rape, child abuse, accidents and disasters. Long hours, rotating shifts and constant exposure to tragedy exacts a heavy toll on police officers and their families.”

Says Ellis, who is presently fundraising to complete the film, “Police protect us from the dark side of life and must cope with the unimaginable. This film guides them to address emotional trauma they face. The police are there for us. Let’s be there for them.”

Donations can be made though the Chuffed crowd-funding platform from May 1 through May 31.

Ellis took on this project after the success of his previous documentary “Indoctrinated; The Grooming of our Children into Prostitution” garnered so much attention and created large-scale positive impact. After viewing “Indoctrinated” at a 2017 screening, Sergeant Matthew Blumenthal of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told Ellis he wanted to show that film to everyone in his human trafficking department. This inspired Ellis to consider other types of documentaries that could serve in a like manner.

Said Ellis, “No matter your impression of officers, these are human beings who need to be in sound mind, steady emotion and physical balance. We need them to be at their best.”

Ellis says he understands there exists a conflict for police officers who may fear appearing weak and unsuitable for a job if they ask for help in dealing with emotionally wounding experiences. But he believes the time is right for caring for the plights of these officers.

A steady supporter of the film, Sergeant Katherine Lynch of the La Mesa Police Department Training Unit, said, “For too long, officers have suffered in silence. We can no longer afford to ignore the effects of critical incidents on the men and women who wear the badge. Until the day comes when we no longer lose a single officer to suicide, we have a tremendous amount of work to do and any tool in our toolbox can help us save a life.”

If Ellis has his way, the officers will know the responses to trauma are normal, and realize reaching out for support is completely understandable. His list of purposes for the film include:

  • For officers to receive the clear message that they do have options in dealing with the stresses, and they can retain wellness in all areas of their lives.
  • To ensure retiring officers are given back to their families as healthy citizens: emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
  • To see a cultural shift, as officers are seen as humans needing the same sort of support we all need.
  • To see an industry shift, where officers know it’s safe to receive the support they desperately need but may not feel free to ask for.
  • To support a vision of peace officers who truly keep the peace, for themselves, our neighborhoods, and our society.

Ellis has already gathered a list of 40 potential interviews, along with the verbal support of the San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan.

Funds that are raised will go towards three months of production costs, to include: equipment rental, pre-production research, the production of outlining the film and filming the footage, and the post-production of editing, adding music, titles, and disseminating the film where it can be of best use.

Said Maxine Lynch, Past President of the California Peer Support Association, “Having a training film such as ‘Keeping the Peace’ available will absolutely help us educate the people in the departments who will need to know about and need to utilize peer support systems.”

Those wishing to support this campaign can contact Jim Ellis HERE.

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