Rookie Mistakes, Part 2 – Assembling Your Mental Armour

Rookie Mistakes, Part 2 – Assembling Your Mental Armour

Warning: this post contains details some may find distressing. Not all my confrontations were face-to-face. One of my earliest investigations was a road-rage incident. A man driving a delivery van got into a altercation with another motorist, who was driving a little black sports car. It was one of those pissy incidents that happen a [...]

Close to Home – When the Victim Reminds You of Someone You Love

Close to Home – When the Victim Reminds You of Someone You Love

Warning: this post contains details some may find distressing. On a bitterly cold day in May 2015, a resident of a local beachfront property was standing at one of his windows when he noticed something unusual washed up on the shore. He walked down to the beach to find it was a man, drifting at [...]

Life and Limb – Cumulative Trauma, Intrusive Thoughts and PTSD

Life and Limb – Cumulative Trauma, Intrusive Thoughts and PTSD

Warning: this post contains details some may find distressing. I attended my last train fatality in mid-April, 2015. It happened just before 10.00 am on a Wednesday, when a woman stepped out in front of a passenger train that was travelling at speed between two stations. In these situations, the train driver can do nothing [...]

Shots Fired – the Effects of Critical Incidents on Mental Health

Shots Fired – the Effects of Critical Incidents on Mental Health

Warning: this post contains details some may find distressing. There I was, sitting in the front passenger seat of the div van, senses tingling and yet so numb. I had been separated from the investigation going on around me, awaiting the instructions of the patrol senior sergeant who was attending. Critically, I replayed the incident [...]

Never Enough – From Burnout to PTSD in Five Years

Never Enough – From Burnout to PTSD in Five Years

In January 2015, I took charge of a siege. A 50-year-old man had barricaded himself inside his parents’ house, was armed with a knife and threatening suicide. We call the address and get the parents to leave. Then we shut the whole street down. Neighbours start to gather on the footpath and in each other’s [...]

The Deep End – the Effects of Cumulative Trauma on Mental Health

The Deep End – the Effects of Cumulative Trauma on Mental Health

Warning: this post contains details some may find distressing. I started upgrading in late-2013. I'll never forget my first patrol supervisor shift. I had just finished eating lunch and was congratulating myself on making it through the day when we received a job; a light plane carrying two people had crash-landed. Well, shit, I thought, [...]