Dr. Laura LV King

Chief Laura King publishes book

giving new insights into officer safety:

"I wrote this book to save police lives"

By Ed Wojcicki, ILACP Executive Director

October 7, 2020

Chief Laura LV King, ILACP 3rd Vice President and chief of police of the McHenry County Conservation District Police Department, has just released her book, Officer Safety Redefined. The information in this book will give officers the knowledge and tools they need to meet both the physical and psychological threats they will encounter when they choose a career in law enforcement. This will result in better mental and physical health.

ILACP Executive Director Ed Wojcicki asked her a few questions about this book. Following are her responses:

Why did you write this book?

I am a generational officer and I saw how police work impacted my dad. Once a happy, outgoing man who was full of life, he slowly transformed to be a man I barely recognized. Things that used to bring him joy he no longer had interest in. He was isolating himself in retirement and just becoming a different person. I looked at him and could see reflections of him in myself. This really worried me. More than that, at that time, I was working in a counseling center specializing in the needs of law enforcement and their families. I was hearing the same story over and over again from my clients. It seemed it was an epidemic. I began to research what might be happening and why. As I dove into the research I realized that we were missing a key part of officer safety. We were so focused on the external threats, that we were missing what was happening on the inside. These internal threats were things we could control. This made me very excited and I knew I had to do something to share this information with as many people as possible. This book presents what I have learned and gives officers what they need to take action and create a better life for themselves.

How long did it take you to complete it?

Honestly, it is my life’s work. In many ways I was working on this book before I even knew I would be writing a book. Growing up with a mother and father both working for a police department, working as a police officer myself and being married to a police officer, I have seen the impact of the profession from all angles. To directly answer your question, I have been actually writing and adding content for approximately five years.

What are the main takeaways for the reader – without giving away too much?!

We all know we lose more officers each year to suicide than all line of duty deaths combined. This book explains some of the reasons this might be happening and shows officers how to take action to ensure they do not become part of that statistic. It also addresses the little discussed other ways we are losing officers to both physical and psychological compromise. More than explaining what these threats are and why they are more prevalent in the police population (a fascinating occupational rather than genetic link), this book shows officers how to control these threats and create a happier, healthier life.

What else would you want our members to know about your work in this area?

I have been presenting on matters of police wellness at conferences since 2012. This has allowed me to meet and hear stories from hundreds of law enforcement professionals. We are all going through the same thing. Our compromised wellness is creating a real risk to our safety. Police work has a higher risk of chronic health disease, depression, addiction and divorce than any other profession. This is leading to early death for law enforcement professionals across the nation. It is time we do something to create meaningful change for our profession. This unacceptable phenomenon has been largely created by the unhealthy culture the police profession has unintentionally created over the years. This book explains, with scientific proof, why this is happening and shows officers how to proactively address the risk factors and create a better quality of life. I wrote this book to save police lives.

Daily Herald features this new book (October 16, 2020)