I’m so pleased that you’ve stopped by for a visit. It is my wish that you will find encouragement and understanding as a fellow law enforcement family member. I want to provide some background on who I am and why I hope you join me on this journey.
Many of you are in the same boat. Loneliness. Unknowns. Fear. They are parts of the LE family life.
From that day forward, we were in for quite an adventure. His job has led us from the streets of Los Angeles to the foothills of gold rush history; from the garlic-scented farms of Gilroy to the suburbs of Sacramento (twice). Each place had its own personality, with different people and flavor of experience. We’ve made a lot of friends along the way, and have wonderful memories of each place.
Meanwhile, Brent and I brought four children into our family. Two girls, two boys – a good balance. I spent ten years homeschooling our kids in response to their individual needs academically and emotionally. I retired in May 2011, with the confidence that it was the best ten-year investment we ever made. Already, we are reaping the rewards as we see their young lives progress. Currently we are caring for a beautiful college graduate who loves children and travel, a married CarMax appraiser/buyer, a gifted college student studying nutrition science, and a high school athlete whom the ladies seem to favor.
We have lived alongside police officers all these years, going through the ups and downs together. About ten years ago, we made a conscious decision to reach out to even more police families. Our department had seen an increase in the number of suicides and on-duty deaths, and opportunities presented themselves. It intensified after Brent took the helm of the CHP Academy. Through the partnership of other officers, wives and our EAP unit, we further developed programs designed to help new officers and their families understand what they will face as law enforcement, and give them some tools to utilize within their homes. It was during this time that the idea for my book was born.
I learned a lot along the way. I also had about 35 other families who were willing to share their struggles and triumphs as well. We understand the difficulties of the law enforcement career and its effect on our personal lives. I hope our vulnerability will comfort and inspire you in your own marriage.
After CHiP took off in 2011, this opened up all kinds of opportunities to connect with other police families and learn even more. I have been to the Philippines, Canada, several states in America, and I’ve listened and gleaned much from police families in each place. From this knowledge I’ve developed four- and eight-hour seminars called Backup for the Home, an interactive look at the fundamentals for a lasting and thriving relationship within a crisis-driven career. The second four-hour segment goes deeper into special areas of difficulty and how to move ahead as a couple (PTSD, Critical Incidents, Office Politics, etc.). Both four-hour and eight-hour seminars are available to present in your area now.
The research took me all over the south and the west coast to interview pilots, doctors, officers, and flight medics. It also gave me a glimpse of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and its effects on those who love their warriors. Finally, Brent and I were invited to the White House to witness a long overdue Medal of Honor Ceremony that was put into motion with a video we found in our research.
In short, it is a training manual for long term relationships using police concepts, training, and culture as the backdrop. This book has over 1,000 people from 50 states and Canada speaking into it. Although it is addressed to officers, I recommend spouses read it as well, as there is a lot of great information not included in CHiP.
My approach to all resources is one of positivity, humility and openness to learning. I am not a therapist, but I do ask questions and listen well. It is my goal to learn and grow from conversations, research, trainings, and the work I do with police families.
I am a woman of faith in Jesus Christ. My work stems from the healing grace that I have found in my relationship of over 30 years with God, but I understand the complexities of departmental policies regarding religion. I am sensitive and capable to present in both secular and faith-based scenarios appropriately. All three of my books are written for all adult audiences.
Brent and I continue to come alongside other officers and their families through the good and the difficult. It isn’t easy, and we all need a little help from time to time. I partner with like-minded individuals and organizations, bringing in different wisdom and strengths to further meet the needs of police family members.
My hope is that through the lessons I have learned and am learning in my marriage and others, I can pass the wisdom on to you.