The Protectors® Podcast

#474 | Teen Gooding | Founder of Female Officer Survival School (FOSS) | Shifting the Paradigm: Empathy in Law Enforcement

December 14, 2023 Dr. Jason Piccolo Episode 474
The Protectors® Podcast
#474 | Teen Gooding | Founder of Female Officer Survival School (FOSS) | Shifting the Paradigm: Empathy in Law Enforcement
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Teen Gooding joined the show to talk about Trauma Informed Policing and Female Officer Survival School. 

We explore Teena's journey from the front lines of law enforcement to her unyielding advocacy for trauma-informed policing, a critical area of training that's often overlooked. 

The harsh reality is that our officers aren't always equipped with the necessary tools to effectively handle victims of traumatic incidents. This compelling conversation dives into the concept of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how trauma can affect both victims and officers alike. We also delve into the emotional toll that policing takes on our officers, the challenges they face daily, and the importance of empathy in fostering community relationships. 

We're not limiting our discussion to empathy, though. We'll cover the unique challenges faced by female officers in the field, the importance of physical fitness in law enforcement, and even how shooting sport competitions can enhance skill sets. Additionally, Teena sheds light on her ground-breaking work with the Female Officer Survival School, a program developed to empower and equip our female officers to handle dangerous situations independently.

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Make sure to check out Jason on IG @drjasonpiccolo


Speaker 1:

Hey, welcome to the protectors podcast. This is a pretty cool one. I'm in person at the Sawmill training facility out in the middle of nowhere, south Carolina, and this place is a lot different than what I expected. I love it. I have to come back here and shoot rather than use my voice. So, hey, we have Tina today and we're going to be talking about a couple cool topics, something I've just been really introduced to in the past couple months, and I love it. These are two things that are great for not only protectors out there, protectors foundations, women in law enforcement but also men in law enforcement, detectives, police, the officers, everybody in the field and that's the first topic we're going to talk about today is trauma informed policing. What's going on, tina? How are you doing?

Speaker 2:

Great, how are you?

Speaker 1:

Yesterday was super eye opening for me. Now you know, I've come from the Fed 23 years and we have complete DOJ victim services. We have everything you can imagine. They throw the money at it when you're talking about victims and when you're talking about people have been a victim of some of the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to them, and the first person that they talk to is an officer, and that officer could literally be right out of the academy. They could be on a street for five years, they could be on a street for 20 years and they're dealing with someone on the worst day of their life and a lot of them don't have any training. They have no idea what they're, what they're talking about and how to deal with the victim. So let's talk about that and how. Really the reason behind the trauma informed policing.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I think most academies try to talk about victimization and victimology when officers go through their very first school, right? But I also think that at that moment in their career they don't even know what that means. They don't even know what trauma is because they haven't done the job. And so for them, on the level of importance, when we talk about what's important me staying alive is important, me worrying about victimization and victimology is not important and so I think they just kind of dump some of that information. And so, along with a nonprofit organization called SASCO, we partner with them because they are, their job is victims, they take care of victims, they get them through the processes, their advocacy right, and so in partnering with them, we realized there were a lot of gaps in the system, and the only one that I know to control is the law enforcement gap, because I was a police officer for 26 years. So I know what, how they think, I know what we go through, I know what is expected of us on the job, what we've been told, what we've learned over the years, but also some of our thought processes and maybe our negative bias, and you know the way our brains are worked, but also our own trauma and how we respond to our own trauma with the job. And so we got together and we decided we were going to do a class, a one day class for any law enforcement victim services, the victim advocates, sros, police patrol detectives, anybody that will come and listen really, and the goal is to take them from not knowing anything. We talk about ACEs, which is adverse childhood incidents, so we're talking about how children that go through trauma, you know, grow up to have maybe some trauma, and that a lot of cops have dealt with trauma in their lives. That's one of the reasons they usually become cops is to help other people, and so a lot of them don't know what that is. It's not like a death sentence or anything, but just them understanding what's happening in their brain in their brain as far as work, but also what's happening with a victim when they're looking at them and they are not exhibiting the signs and symptoms of that's what we think a normal victim should be. We talk about incidences from sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, drugging, stalking and harassment that unfortunately can lead to murder. So we talk about real life cases and put a face to the crime. Not just these are just victims, we, they're real people and we make sure that they know that and they respect that and every time they do.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's the thing is like when you, when you brought up a great point in the beginning is academies are great, they're great baseline, you could work, you could build off them, but you're drinking from the fire hose. When you're there, 90% of people in their basic academies I mean like in the Fed, you'll get a lot of people prior law enforcement but when you're talking state, local, this is their first real experience as an adult. You know they're coming from college where they may have some like scholarly background, where they may have had a CJ or a law enforcement degree, and they're like oh, this is great, they're book smart. In the academy you're just trying to learn everything. I mean you're trying to law, you're trying to have traffic stops tactics, defensive tactics. You just want to graduate.

Speaker 2:

You just want to pass the test.

Speaker 1:

You don't, you know victims. Cool, give me like eight hour block on it. I'll understand it maybe later on. But whatever, I'm a sheepdog, I'm going out there, you know you're really wow that when what I saw yesterday was I saw people who were in the class, I saw officers who were from like all walks of life, all walks of life, you had the, you know. I saw someone who was canine. I saw someone like just different nationalities, religions, everything. And I saw, like the quote unquote alpha male, and he said and I see the, I see the lights clicking in their head as they're going through this and you guys are doing scenarios and you're, and I'm listening to it and I'm like, wow, this is real life. These are real victims who you have to deal with and you have to deal with on such a human level Because you know, when you a lot of people that get on a job, they turn it off, they turn off their humanity. And yeah, it's perfectly fine to do it because of the things you see, and that doesn't matter if you're in a small town, big city or wherever. You're always seeing some sort of bad part of humanity. So when a victim comes in, you're always on Aaron, on the side of is this BS or is this real? Is this BS or is it real? And sometimes you're very cold.

Speaker 2:

I think we have to be to survive, like you compartmentalize, right, because if I look at this person in that moment then I might see, you know, my mom or my sister or a daughter, you know, which can then be very traumatizing for the officer itself. So we almost have to do it for our own mental health and survival. But it's also them understanding that, yes, you know, we can't just sit in front of someone and cry, right, but looking at them as the human that they are and remembering that we're the only person that can help them. And they're telling us literally about the worst experience of their life to a total stranger. And we just think they should talk to us, right, because we're the cops. You came here. You want me to help you. You need to talk to me. We don't understand why, you know, maybe they are going, or like going from piece to piece in their story their story is not chronological, it's all over the place or why they are just shutting down, or why, you know, they might get angry that was one of the things we talked about, because that's part of them is if they feel cornered or unsafe in the environment. Not, we think they're safe, you know, but us telling them they're safe is doesn't make them feel safe, and so they could get angry and start yelling. And for us now we're like whoa, you know, like now we're like now our safety could be compromised, and so now it's this struggle of you know, well, my safety is important too, but us also just not understanding why maybe they don't feel safe, and we're also very the culture of law enforcement is everything has got to be fast, like get hired fast, get through the academy fast, get through FTO fast, get to the call fast, get through this report. Like everything is so driven by time that for us it's like oh my God, I don't have time for this, right, you know, when you get there for something that happened today and the victim is trying to tell you something that happened last year and you're like I don't care about last year, what happened today? Right, just the facts, man, just the facts, you know. And sometimes that's frustrating for us, just because we don't understand. Maybe we've, you know, never experienced this type of crime before, never seen it in our own lives. And so if someone's never experienced that, how would they know, unless they're taught?

Speaker 1:

You know, after 30 years, that yesterday was probably the first time after lunch I saw people who weren't dozen off. They were like so you did, you put the officer in the victim's seat, you put him in a seat and you get the small groups. You broke up into three small groups, enough to where you could have interaction with them and you could be like okay, we're going to role play this. How would you deal if you're the victim or you're the detective, or you're this and you're that? And it was different scenarios too. I liked how so there was three groups and you had different scenarios for different things. They had like a young child, a victim, a victim of homicide, and then you had someone who was being, just, you know, stalked. I mean you had, I mean you had so many different things. And I liked the fact that the officers I saw them click, I saw a click as you're going through that. You could see their frustration and you could almost feel like they're like oh man, you know, and one of the best quotes I had yesterday was, like one of the officers says you know, one time I was that asshole officer. I didn't believe what the victim was saying, but you see the light bulbs clicking them. That's why I think this is this is such a critical training that doesn't just need to be for certain people who are fulfilling a role. So a lot of times you'll get someone who's like, oh, you're going to be the victim advocate for the agency. Well, that's great. But what if you're in a small department, somewhere where you had 10 to 15 people and you don't have an officer who is like on call 20 or 30, you know you're not going to be the victim, you're not going to be the victim, you're not going to be the victim On call 24, seven who's going to respond to a victim, or even a ledge victim. And then you have to have this. Training has to be the ripple effect. It has to be like, okay, well, if you learn this, maybe whoever let's say, you train 24 people, maybe the empathy from those 24 people gets spread out and it ripples to the rest of the department. So that's one thing, the change I mean. I'd like to know how you felt like in your beginning your career and how this really how you got into this aspect of training.

Speaker 2:

So I was the only female at the police department that I started off at on female on the road didn't have like the culture there was very um Taipei. You know better, get your shit straight. You know better, do what. What we're doing, do what we're told and you know, don't, don't ruffle any feathers. You know, um, gotta be hard, gotta be mean. The culture of the agency was very I was, I would say it was very bad, um, very toxic. But also like there was some incidences before I worked there, where you know officers were, you know, used to force incidences like don't drive through this town because you're going to get beat up, like that's. That was just, that was the way it was, um, and so there was definitely not a lot of empathy being taught. But also, I think, like you're told, have this empathy, but then you don't also know what's happening to you when you become a police officer. You don't understand the biological effects that it has on your brain, your body, um, nobody tells you those things. It's just like suck it up, um, put on your big girl panties or, you know, leave work at work, leave home at home. All these things that were told to, to to me when I started. You know it's, it's bullshit, because you can't do that. You can't leave your house and just say whatever happened at home, I'm just going to leave it there. Your brain doesn't work that way. Same thing with work. You can't go to work and have this critical incident or something happen that is very, very traumatic and then just leave it at work and you go home and everything's fine. That's not reality. And so really teaching cops why they are the way they are, why they have these changes, but also so they can explain it to their families so that they're more resilient. I was resilient just because I had been my whole life. I had not a very good childhood, so it was like survival was all I knew and so that's kind of how I survived the job. It wasn't because that was good, it was just the way it was. And then the more I moved up the ranks and started on our peer we have a peer team in South Carolina, so being able to help officers through critical incidences was really important to me and that kind of grew to be a passion of mine. But then also human trafficking and sexual assault survivors. I started teaching. I ended up changing to a university police environment and I loved it there. But seeing these 17, 18, 19-year-old girls not knowing how to defend themselves, not knowing what to do if something happened to them, I started a self-defense program for that university and so taught to students, faculty and staff. And so through that understanding and hearing the stories of well, this happened to me and this is how it was treated. I'm like God, what is you know? I know that cop right, they're not that way. So why did they act that way? Like trying to kind of dive into that to see what was happening with them and just doing research and reading the book Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement and their Families was a really kind of life changer for me and understanding all of those things that happened to us and how our brain works and how trauma is. And that's kind of working with SASCO with a lot of survivors that my husband and I will teach them firearms, like usually they've been victims of a crime that a firearm was used and they are very scared and they don't want to see it, they don't want to touch it, they don't even be in the same room with it. So being very, very patient with them and them trusting us was the number one thing. That was the thing. They come in the room, they don't know us, they don't like cops because probably something bad that happened to them and the cops treated them bad. And then they realize we're cops and they're like oh, by the end of it they're like well, you're also just Tina and so they trust us because they know that we care about them and that we want to make sure that they're safe and they just do things that are really scary for them and that's pretty cool to see. So to talk to some of those victims and hear their stories and be so frustrated because I know there are good cops out there but maybe they just don't have the training and understanding of how to interact with a victim, and I was like we have to do something about it. So we did and we were like maybe people will come, maybe they won't. It's not sexy, it's not tactical, it's not firearms, it's not jujitsu or anything fun. It kind of sucks really. And we talk about the F word, that cops don't like our feelings and cops don't like talking about their feelings. We're not supposed to have feelings but them understanding. They are, you're a human being, you have feelings and it's OK.

Speaker 1:

When you're talking about a victim and this is one of the scenarios you brought up yesterday. These are real life scenarios. These are real victims. If you have empathy, you're going to interview someone, You're going to talk to them, you're going to build trust with them. You're not going to interrogate them right off the ground. You're not going to do that. Read technique bullshit and you don't have to say it. I'll say it because I've been there and I've taken all those courses. But you're not going to interrogate the victim and you talk about the one victim in Texas and you imagine that they were victimized in 2012. And if that officer who did the interview built rapport and really figured out what was going on with that case, it could have saved lives, literally saved lives. One misstep I'm not even going to say it's one misstep, I'm going to say some bullshit by one cop ended so many lives, ended so many families because they weren't empathetic. He said, she said and I don't know what that cop's background was, maybe he had a tough experience with a female sometime and he was like, oh, it's always us against them, or whatever. But the thing is you have to look at it like not everybody has the background at you. Not everybody has a warm fuzzy about the police. We know that nowadays. Maybe they had a tough experience with the cops and it's really tough for them to open up. So a course like this I saw is like you're reawakening the empathy, because you can get very disgruntled. You can get very disgruntled but at one point you join the profession. 99% of people join a profession to be a protector and it'd be empathetic and to go out there and really quote unquote protect and serve. That's why they did it. So I love this course I do and I was really surprised to see this is some of your first courses because it's very dynamic, it's very hands-on and it's not a snooze fest and it's not there just to get a certificate. We know everybody wants a tactical certificate. We know everybody does these trainings and this and that. But the reality of policing is there's violence but there's also 90% of the job is this dealing with people who have had the worst day of their life and victims. You know how violated you feel when someone comes and breaks into your car and steals all your belongings. Your car is like your second home. Yeah, it's a very miniscule victimization, but it's empathy, that first response that the officer has at his person, being empathetic, may change their whole view on how they react to police. So later on, when someone else gets victimized, raped, hurt, assaulted, they're like, hey, you know what, give the officer such and such a call, such a good person, and they really responded, and it's just basic humanity.

Speaker 2:

But it's also letting the officers know like you know, I did this for 26 years and you can't do all the things right. You can't be all the things to all the people all the time, which I think is sometimes expected of officers To be all the things to all the people. They can't, and so it's also giving them resources and someone to call when they don't know what to do Someone. It's like a team, and that's one of the things we talk to them about is building a team and getting to know the people in their communities the advocates, the nonprofits, the people that can help them when they don't have an answer, because sometimes the law does not equate to something that we're dealing with as a police officer. It's like I don't like this, but there's no law that's being broke. So what do I do? I want to help somebody, but I don't know what to do. It's two o'clock in the morning, who am I supposed to call? And they can be very frustrating for an officer who really is trying to help somebody, and so we're trying to give them resources as well. So we give them a lot of resources, not just for their victims, but for themselves If they're struggling, if their bucket is full. That was part of what we talk about too is you can't be that to the victim if you're not taking care of yourself. You have to make sure and check yourself. Like if you're having a bad day, maybe you're not the one that needs to talk to them, maybe you need to get somebody else over there to talk to them. So being very self-aware was also some of what we talked about, which sometimes can be hard when you look in the mirror that one officer you were talking about he was like now he's got kids, he's got daughters and he's like man. This just hits different and I think as we grow in our career, we need to spend some time to, you know, reflect and look at ourselves and figure out where maybe we need to grow or learn, and sometimes that's a hard realization, but I think more cops should do it.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's a great transition because there is a realization. We know there's gun violence. We know there's violence, but we know there's a lot of officers working alone. There's a lot of officers out in the field right now. Listen, I grew up in big cities, most of the places I've worked but I remember being a border patrol agent out in the middle of nowhere, no backup, and if something went down there's nobody. And that's where female officer survival comes in and I like that. It's geared towards females. It's very, listen, we know the reality of policing. But if you put a bunch of guys and a bunch of girls in the same room and you're like, okay, we're going to do an officer survival course, you're not going to bring out the full potential and some of the people in the training. But, like I was saying, violence happens. It's not always gun violence. A lot of times it's like hand on hand. You are fighting for your life. You have got to know how to resolve that situation on your own before someone who's five minutes away. You ever spar for five minutes, just spar.

Speaker 2:

Not even fighting for the life.

Speaker 1:

Not even fighting for your life. And that is like saying, hey, backup is five minutes away.

Speaker 2:

but in reality, in these small towns, our counties, the big counties, that are really rural and, of course, everybody's short, so all the shifts are short. So now you're talking, you could even have like one of them's at the jail or one of them's on a call, or one of them, you know, there might not be any backup, which is, you know, that's not a good feeling. Whether you're a male or female, that's not a good feeling. So, yeah, the Female Officer Survival School is. It started. I started it in 2011. And it is morphed into its own kind of amazing program. It is my legacy. I love my trauma informed, but my Female Officer Survival School is something that it means the world to me. My girls mean the world to me. We've had girls from all kinds of states North Carolina, south Carolina, georgia, of course, because there are bordering states, but Florida, ohio, kansas, connecticut, all over the country that come because they're just wanting to learn. And what I know just from experience, is I would go into a class, especially like a tactical class, shooting, active shooter and some kind of instructor course, cross-bogon instructor, whatever it is and usually I was the only girl, so I'd go in. And now I'm nervous because I'm the only girl and now I feel like I have to outperform every male in the room. Whether that's reality or not, that was my reality. Maybe it doesn't make sense to the guys listening, but I'm telling you that's what the girls are thinking. I have to outperform them to show that I somehow am worthy of being here. Now what happens is because I'm so nervous, I then underperform and now I'm not performing to my own potential, which then makes me mad. And now I'm just spiraling and then it just gets out of control, where now I'm not listening, I can't problem solve, I'm not shooting the way I should be, and now I'm questioning my own abilities, right, and I know that to the guys listening they're like what? That's just reality. That's the way our brains work. We are different and I think it's okay for us to say that I kind of get really frustrated. You're not a female, you're a cop. No, I'm still a woman. Like that hasn't changed. Our bodies are different, our brains are different, we think differently, our emotions are different, and those things are all okay, and so it's a class that they can come to. They can learn, they can kind of relax. They don't have to feel like they have to outperform anybody and when they're relaxed they really take in so much more information and so and they're able to just learn. It's not about winning, it's not about the competition, it's about learning and making themselves better. Now there are competitions that we have, but and they're just more for fun than really anything I was going to say.

Speaker 1:

One thing I have to caveat is I've seen the training. I've I've seen the videos. This isn't kumbaya. This isn't like, yeah, you're going to sit around at the end of the day but you're going to be smoked. This is like. I listen, I love training. I, like you, know I listen. I'm retired now, but the training I saw you put these female officers through was more tense than I've seen. 99% of the law enforcement training out there. The law enforcement training yeah, you're going to SRT, swat, tactical schools, like that yeah. But if you're going to, it's always like this you're going to go to basic pistol schools. You're going to go to this, you're going to night fire. Yours was combined, it was combined course and let's talk about the course yeah.

Speaker 2:

So and I've had some people who have been through SWAT schools, males that have observed some of the training, and they've said it's more intense than any SWAT school they've ever seen. So so it's a three day class. We stay here at the sawmill as well. We're here, the facility is amazing, and so if you see the pictures, it is 10 times better than anything. You can see the pictures. It's really cool. So we all stay together, which has proven to be very effective for us to build those bonds. A lot of times women are siloed in this profession. One female shift and so they don't really get the chance to build relationships with other females, so that just exacerbates the bond these girls have. So we stay here, we not only we fight, we fight, we do some fighting, we do some defensive tactics, we do some CQB, some jujitsu, we do a lot of firearms. So really, just like sometimes women are just doing something because they were told to do it, they don't know why, because they don't want to ask the questions, and so we get into that Like this is why you're doing what you're doing, or do you have any questions? Feel free to ask. And so the shooting we start very basic, because not everybody has the same training. They're coming from all different states so I don't know what their level of training is. So we start with the basics and then we really move to advanced over the three days of them you know a lot of movement, shooting, but a lot of scenario drills, decision making, and we also talk about mental health. We talk about issues that are specific to women pregnancy policies, sexual harassment, resiliency, how to you know, a lot of times as mothers I'm not a mom, but I have a lot of moms that come through and they feel like they can't be a good mom and a good cop at the same time, like they're really torn. So we talk some about life, work, life balance, and just talk about a lot of things that they just have never had the opportunity to talk about, especially with the room full of just women. Like and so that's really cool, and most of them will say that they don't want to come. Sometimes they'll say I didn't want to come in. Who wants to be in a room full of girls? Like it's gonna be a bunch of bitching and wine and like that's what they'll say, but then in the end they're like nobody, and that's usually what happens. Like even I'm like, oh my God, this sucks, like it's hot or it's raining, like I'm thinking it. So I'm like oh, the girls are not going to like this and they never complain. They never complain, they just do, you know and they're just like we'll figure it out. And so it's really cool to see a group of women supporting each other and building each other up and just pushing each other to like way beyond the limits they ever thought they could do, and that's really a lot of. It is them believing in themselves and having the confidence that if they do get in that fight, that they can survive. They have the tools, some of the basic stuff that, like we talked about the Academy, it's not really going to stop an active aggressor, it's just going to control someone who allows you to control them. So we do a lot of it and we fight, and because we have a lot of similar strengths you know, upper body and stuff like that like it's a fun learning environment, like nobody's trying to hurt anybody, nobody's trying to win, they're just trying to learn and get better.

Speaker 1:

The big thing about it is networking too. Here's the deal. You have someone from Connecticut, you have someone from Georgia, someone from Florida, some from all over the country. You now have a network with them. So like hey, you know what? Can you tell me? We're looking at something like this. You guys have something like that. That's the same thing with the trauma informed policing is like. When you go through these courses, you're building a network and as an LEO, the best thing you could have, especially post retirement or when you get close to that, is having a good network relationships they have relationships. It really does. Yeah, they say you should have people friends outside of the profession. How about friends outside of the state? How about someone you could just text and be like hey, tina, what's up, let's do this. Or hey, such and such, what's going on the floor, we're coming down. There's any training? Are you guys looking at training and stuff like that? It's just networking and building relationships.

Speaker 2:

And it goes far beyond the profession. I mean, we've got, I mean, taught thousands of female officers and it's, it's amazing the relationship, the trust that they put in the cadre, that are there and also their classmates and they could be struggling or going through something, and they'll. We have a private Facebook page that they're on and that's where we put all our pictures and videos and stuff for them to to look back on and they'll just get on there and be like, hey, you know, what kind of pants are y'all wearing? Like I know it sounds weird, but you know, or you know, are there any holsters that are working better for y'all? So they'll ask, like you know, or y'all still have a real change in any policies? Because you know, a lot of departments have changed their beard policies and they're in their tattoo policies and policies and so they'll talk about some of the things for them. Like you know, do y'all have to wear your hair and then really tight bond, or can you wear in a ponytail? And it sounds silly, but those are things that we face, that the guys don't, y'all haven't. Does everybody have a pregnancy policy? Is there like duty? Like how do we deal with that? Or their struggle? I hear a lot of them that'll be putting in for a promotion and I'll hear what I don't want to get it because I'm the only girl Like, and so it's just like talking them through that, like, let's, let's talk about how you can make yourself a better fit. Like, let's talk about some of the things you can say in your interview. So we I mean we talk about a lot of things, or if they're struggling, they'll call. Sometimes maybe they're having a conflict on a shift and don't really know what to do. And so we'll talk about ways to resolve conflict so that they can be more successful. Because one of the things I tell them is there's only 12% of women in law enforcement. I didn't have anybody in the command staff ever that I could look up to that was a female. They never had any females above me through my 26 year career, and so I want to be that person for them and I want the cadre to to be those people for them to say you know, I'm having an issue or I'm struggling a little bit, I just need to talk to somebody, because the only way we're going to get that number higher is for them to stay in the profession. But if they're leaving, then that's not going to help. So so just I told them I want there to be more police chiefs, more sheriffs. We only have one female sheriff in the state of South Carolina. She was just elected a few years ago, and so it's like if we but we have to outperform right, I tell them that you can't just go in there, not know your jobs, not be able to shoot, not be able to fight, and think that you're going to get promoted. That's not fair. You got to work and do the best at what you can do at your job, and I think that's part of it too. This isn't. It is not a kumbaya. We don't pillow fight at night and people say that you know. But it's also being real with them. Like you, you chose to be in this profession. Everybody's making you be here, so go do the work. If you're out of shape, then go to the freaking gym. If you can't shoot, then go shoot more Like. Don't sit back and think everything's just going to get handed to you, because that's not. That's not the way I roll, anyway.

Speaker 1:

Well, I should probably say where people could find you. Fortis Tactical.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, fortis Tactical Systems, we are based out of South Carolina, but the trauma and form class we're actually taking wherever we're going to be in Utah in January for that. So that is something Now. The FEMA officer survival there's too much that goes on that we can take that on the road, so they'll just have to come to South Carolina for that Well, that's the thing about the sawmill too is, this facility is absolutely incredible, and it is.

Speaker 1:

It's a top notch training facility. I mean, and I'm saying barracks, but they're not barracks, it's like, basically like a five star cabin-ish.

Speaker 2:

It's really nice, it's good enough. Yeah, they're not going to come here and be like, oh, I can't stay here. It's clean. The staff here is amazing. They'll bend over backwards whatever they'll. You know they have some side by side they love taking. When the females come, they take them around a big tour with the whole facility. It's over 200 acres and the girls love that. It goes all the way down to the river. Steve is the co-owner of this facility and he they just started a free quarterly law enforcement military training class. So just, it's going to be something different every quarter and just some basic skills that they just he just wants to be able to give back to the first responder community. So look them up. So many things that happen out here. Competitions you know sometimes it sucks. You know to come to competitions you're like I might not be the best, but that's part of learning, it's part of making yourself better. So you know, push yourself, do something you've never done before, come out and compete. It's beautiful. It's beautiful Best sense that you'll ever see too.

Speaker 1:

And anybody ever thinking about competing, just do it, because this isn't like high school sports People are going to help you. There's always every every squad I've ever been on, like whenever I did competition there's always someone willing to help. And if you're the one that's been competing for a while, maybe you're the one that's going to help someone. Come again, because shooting sports is like. It's such a great outlet and you really need a good outlet in any of these professions, or even as civilians. You don't need to be an LEO or a military to get into shooting sports.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely not. It's just, it's just a skill, and you get better the more you do it and the more under stress you do it. And you know physical fitness. I get frustrated sometimes because I know for our academy they have to pass like a physical agility test to get in the academy but then there's no standard really after that. I think that's pretty standard around the country. And so understanding that physical fitness is part of your, it's got to be part of your health, like overall. Like you know, it does so many things to help your brain. One but two. You know you got to be strong, you got to be resilient. Your body has to be able to bounce back from things and be able to chase people and fight people and not get injured, and so it really is got to come back to the forefront of one of the things that's really important in you know law enforcement is being physically fit. We don't like to say it, but sometimes we've got to say the hard things.

Speaker 1:

So well, tina. I appreciate you coming on a show and looking forward to collaborating in the future and following you guys around. Make sure everybody goes, afford his tactical systems, check out the foster training for a female officer, and trauma informed policing really needs to be pressed throughout the country.

Speaker 2:

I'm a dreamer, I would say, and I hope, I want trauma informed policing. I want it to change law enforcement. I mean, that's my dream.

Speaker 1:

It needs to.

Trauma Informed Policing and Victim Services
Empathy and Training for Law Enforcement
Empathy, Resources, and Female Officer Survival
Empowering Women in Law Enforcement
Competing and Fitness in Law Enforcement