The VALOR Blog is a forum for law enforcement experts from across the country to share their stories with their brothers and sisters in law enforcement. Our bloggers are chosen from all aspects of the profession, including agency type and size, and from all ranks. They will share lessons learned, best practices, and behavior changes that sparked meaningful individual and agency improvement.

Hormones and Your Health

April 3, 2023

Did you know that your hormones can affect your physical wellness? Take some time to peruse the Hormones and Your Health blog to learn more about how your hormones play a big part in your physical wellness.

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The Reality of Diets: Calories Versus Hormones

August 9, 2022

As a law enforcement officer, you require high levels of physical fitness and readiness. The foundational building blocks of becoming functionally fit are rooted in nutrition, as proper fuel for your body is required for health optimization and peak performance on the job. In the ever-changing world of “fad diets” and “extreme workouts,” how can anyone make sense of what works? In this blog, I am going to discuss the “diet” side of weight loss and overall health optimization by introducing the roles of calories and hormones.

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Two officers talking

Duty to Intervene

May 2, 2022

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I will add to this powerful quote: visible actions are priceless! Actions do speak louder than words. Far too often, images in the media have shown inappropriate actions of men and women in uniform. In January, we saw powerful images of an officer from the Sunrise, Florida, Police Department (SPD) taking appropriate action to intervene when another officer from SPD needed help controlling his emotions in the field. Even though the rank on his sleeve and physical stature were both larger than Mount Everest, she stood on her oath, values, and beliefs.

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Officer with Civilian

One Contact at a Time: Building Community Trust

March 3, 2022

As officers, we see the good, the bad, and the ugly. We live by the adage “to protect and serve.” But how much attention are we paying to building community relationships and trust while we protect and serve? Do you ever have the chance to focus on building relationships within your community? Sometimes building relationships can be harder than protecting and serving because it takes time and patience, but it is also very rewarding.

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Officer in meditation

Vulnerability: The Key to Emotional Survival

September 14, 2020

I started playing sports when I was eight years old and continued to play through high school and for a short time in college. After college, I served more than three years in the military and then went into law enforcement. Throughout it all, I believed that I had to appear strong and invincible if I was going to be accepted and successful.

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Eye scan

Tactical Brain Science

September 4, 2020

The term tactical is often polluted. Some product vendors will tell you that if you want to sell something to law enforcement, call it tactical, paint it black, and put Velcro on it. We can wear tactical gear and conduct our operations but are we consistently thinking tactically and strategically on a daily basis for officer safety?

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Man looking out a car window

Negativity Bias: Is That a Rock or a Lion Behind That Bush?

August 24, 2020

In order to survive, early humans needed to be highly attuned to threats to their survival. That made knowing whether it was a rock or a lion behind the bush very important! Our ancestors learned behaviors that became hardwired in the brains of their descendants in order to avoid danger and stay alive. This phenomenon is known as the “negativity bias,” which is alive and kicking in our brains today and can affect how we navigate life.

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Officer's eyes

Preparation Through Training: Being Vigilant Mentally as Well as Physically

August 11, 2020

In law enforcement, we experience things that are incredibly difficult to handle, including felonious assaults. A tremendous amount of time is spent teaching officers how to survive felonious assaults. The goal is always the same: you go home. However, surviving is only half of the battle.

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Seven Ways to Alleviate Stress

June 5, 2020

Stress is an inherent part of life, especially in the field of law enforcement where we face uniquely demanding challenges on a day-to-day, and often moment-to-moment, basis. And while not all stress is “bad,” the constant, unrelenting activation of the fight or flight response can negatively impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being and change the way we move through life.

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Male officer in field meditating.

Five Myths About Mindfulness Meditation

April 3, 2020

Some of us in law enforcement are skeptical when something new crops up. Our first reaction may be to doubt its usefulness or value. With the unfamiliar and untried, sometimes we need to hear what something is NOT before we can be open to hearing what it actually is. This can be true for the word meditation. It can sort of freak people out. So take a breath and stay with me. My mission is to debunk some common misconceptions surrounding mindfulness meditation.

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Officer behind cruiser with weapon drawn.

Lessons Learned From an Active Shooter Response Training: Part 3

March 6, 2020

My previous blogs focused on ensuring that our training reflects how we need to perform under stress and the phenomenon of auditory exclusion. The final post of this series emphasizes taking training scenarios to their logical conclusion.

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Officers talking about their feelings.

The Dreaded-E Word: Emotions

February 19, 2020

Officers may not want to talk about emotions or feelings. That’s certainly not to say that there aren’t officers who will talk about their emotions; but these conversations may be few and far between This blog, written by a retired officer, discusses the importance of emotions with the hope of normalizing them.

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Two officers taking cover.

Lessons Learned From an Active Shooter Response Training, Part 2

June 13, 2019

In a previous blog, I discussed an active shooter training exercise that I was involved in with a local police department. A second training issue I observed involved an interesting phenomenon: auditory exclusion.

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Officer eating their meal.

Tactical Eating - Simple Meal Planning for Law Enforcement

May 23, 2019

This blog will address something that arguably, we all know is good for us, but that we dread starting or just never get around to: the frightfully simple practice of meal planning.

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Officer radioing.

Lessons Learned From an Active Shooter Response Training

May 10, 2019

I have always taken the following saying seriously: “The way you train is the way you will perform under stress.” I personally can attest to the fact that it is true. I can recall one instance in particular in which I was in a ground fight...

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Law enforcement officer eating healthy food.

Goal Setting for Law Enforcement

April 24, 2019

To put it simply, it is a human need to strive and improve. The act of setting goals isn’t just about ourselves.

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Law enforcement officers exercising in a group.

Everyone Can Win - Incentives for Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Standards

April 24, 2019

The City of Sidney and the Sidney Police Department realized years ago that it was important to maintain physical fitness standards for officers. To implement a standard, the City and the union (officers) collaborated to look at national standards for officers and conducted internal testing to develop a physical fitness testing process.

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