Good Cop, Good Cop

A Get Healthy, Stay Healthy Guide for Law Enforcement

Written by: Brian Casey
Review by: Paul Shafer, Retired Chief of Police
Date: 2020-05-29

Good Cop, Good Cop is a get healthy, stay healthy guide for law enforcement at all levels. Author Brian Casey currently serves as Employee Assistance Director for the St. Paul, Minnesota Police Department. He presents a well-organized and thoughtful primer regarding the myriad of challenges that stress presents in our jobs and daily lives away from work.

As a big fan of Dr. Stephen Covey’s aha moment, I found myself thinking with some consistency of two things while reading the text and the context of the situations presented.

1) I wish I had thought of that, and

2) I wish I could have understood this better when I needed to.

Perhaps this is a bit selfish, but I have had a long and thoughtful career in which I learned something every day. I value understanding myself as well as others. Brian Casey has impressed me with his insight, his realistic approaches to difficult stressful challenges, and his down-to-earth understanding of what it takes to be a good cop.

To better appreciate the book, let me share some of the insights presented:

• As first responders, we think of ourselves being the first to be called to intervene in a situation. The reality, however, is that law enforcement is frequently the last responder because others or institutions have failed to resolve the situation.

• Traumatic events can be very difficult and maybe even impossible to define, in part because they can be so individualized. A person’s experience which shapes their perspective makes them see things differently. How often have we just not been able to understand why someone is not reacting as we thought they should?

• How often have we seen a situation where we ask why a colleague just did not reach out for help? Is the toughness of what we believe it takes to be a cop preventing us from reaching out and more importantly, who is reaching in? What are some of the signs they need some help? Will you take the initiative to reach them or is common, will you avoid the person because they clearly show that something is wrong or they are too simple too unpleasant to be around?

Good Cop, Good Cops information is more than relevant today, more than ever to glean. Cops are facing the toughest challenges the job has ever seen. It is natural for them to neglect their well-being when they are handling everyone else’s problems and sometimes, fail to recognize their own. As Brian Casey so eloquently states, Life is difficult at times and sometimes it is extremely difficult.

I encourage you to give the book a thorough read. I think you will find it a valuable tool to assist in understanding your inner cop as well as others in the profession. And, I am confident you will find the author passionate about police work as well as learning about the topics presented. Enjoy and emerge much better prepared to tackle a holistic approach to well-being in Copland.

Paul Shafer, Retired Chief of Police
Meet the Reviewer
Retired Highland Park, Illinois Police Chief brings 38 years of law enforcement experience to the Badge of Life’s Board of Directors. Paul served with the Naperville, Illinois Police Department for 22 years commanding the Investigative Division and Patrol Operations Division prior to assuming command of the Highland Park Police. Paul earned his baccalaureate degree at Elmhurst College and completed his master’s degree from Lewis University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).