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When is the optimal time to read "Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement" by Kevin Gilmartin

posted Mar 26, 2013, 8:43 AM by S. Wickelgren
For those of you familiar with the book - Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement, by Kevin Gilmartin, you know that his theories ring true to many/most/all working in the field.  At what point does it help to read this book?  At what point is it too late for it do be a benefit to an officer?

The first question is not a good one in that I realize that it can do no harm to read his book early in your career in law enforcement, or even while in college or in the academy.  I do believe that much like learning to walk or riding a bike, we will all make mistakes and learn from these mistakes.  This will ring true in a career of law enforcement regarding handling stress.  Knowledge is great, but experience is the life skill needed to grow.  I have thrown out the analogy of a mythical person who attends college straight through to getting a PhD in building searches.  This person can have all of the knowledge on how to properly conduct a building search.  They will know how to do it efficiently, safely, quickly..., but the fact is that on that first real building search, their stress levels will be through the roof and interfere with their ability to "think" through what they need to do.  They need experience in order to incorporate their knowledge.  The two questions above still stand.  I will say reading this valuable book is a must before, or early in a career, and then again some time later.  When that is..., that is the question.

Steven M Wickelgren