Exposed to a New Culture – Behind the Badge

police badgeThere is nothing like being immersed in a culture and spending time with it’s people to help you understand and appreciate it.  This week my eyes were opened along with my understanding for the culture of the police.  I had no idea.

The 10 police officers and two civilian police staff I met were a select group.  They are the cream of the crop, I suspect, when it comes to people who care and take an interest in the lives and work of their coworkers.  These are men and women who are not only passionate about their job but also about making their workplace one which is healthy and supportive.  From what I learned this week they have their work cut out for them.

What they describe is a culture which is changing but it is not without it’s challenges.  The macho, bully environment associated with police is not just the one displayed on the street but also becomes a stumbling block for those who live within the force and may show any form of weakness.

While officers like those we met are trying to make a difference they face huge obstacles in their effort to make the force a kinder more caring community.  They have to be confident of their stand and prepared to defend it as they move forward.  Those lucky enough to have leadership which supports their effort are well on the way but others who do not have that support and live in an atmosphere where even basics are not supported are less likely to thrive with their effort to infuse peer support into their culture.

I wish them well as they move forward with the concept of peer support in an environment which tends toward fear and isolation for those who are struggling.  The road will long and I will wait with interest to see how it begins to unfold for them.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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One Response to Exposed to a New Culture – Behind the Badge

  1. Anand says:

    An interesting insight…especially on the macho image. Perhaps this is how the indoctrination begins…a normal, sympathetic person joins the force, and transforms into the stereotype. Thanks for sharing.

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