The Pain Behind The Badge Seminar is by far the most thought provoking, emotional training I had attended in my 18-year career in law enforcement.  Now as a college professor, I felt it was crucial to bring this training opportunity to the students of our university, as well as the officers and family members in our area. I cannot express enough thanks to Clarke and Tracie for the training seminary they presented. It was very powerful and clearly found a mark with our audience.This is a critical topic within law enforcement that is so often overlooked for a variety of reasons. This training reassures us though, that if we experience situations similar to the ones that were discussed in the seminar, there is a safe way to navigate that phase and successfully recover. The overwhelming response was very positive from both the students and officers in attendance, most of whom would suggest this training to other L E students, officers, spouses, and/or significant others.We express our heartfelt thanks to Clarke and Tracie; not only great presenters and trainers, but great people, parents, and friends. We hope to bring you back sometime very soon. Continue the good fight Clarke and Tracie and never give up; you ARE making a difference!

Sgt. Chris Dobratz (Ret.), Professor, MN State University Mankato

“The Pain behind the Badge Seminar” is an extremely  informative, thought-provoking one-day training that everyone involved in, or married to, law enforcement should attend.  While the subjects of suicide and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are not pleasant topics, Clark and Traci’s direct, honest, and open approach helps shed light and offer hope on issues law enforcement officers too often keep bottled up, hidden from both co-workers and family members alike.  In a job where being strong is of paramount importance, hearing first hand examples go a long way towards opening a door  where treatment is not a stigma but a valuable tool.

Bret Farrar, Chief of Police – City of Lakewood, Washington

What a wonderfully put together seminar. Anyone can tell that Clarke and Tracie speak from their hearts. How I wish that, and I will say it till the day that I die, if only Joe had seen and heard what you said in your seminar and learned that there were people out there whom he could have sought out, he would still be alive today.

Charlotte Banish, Mother of Lt. Joseph Banish (Joseph Banish, Born 08/04/72, died 04/01/08)

“The expertise and knowledge that Sergeant Clarke Paris and his wife, Tracie, has compiled and presented on this very important subject is outstanding!  The Pain Behind The Badge is a training course that should be taught immediately in every law enforcement agency in the United States.  A topic that is still avoided today….this course should be attended by officers, supervisors and command staffs.”This course was taught on December 9th, 2009, to hundreds of law enforcement professionals at the Nevada Chapter Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy Associates (NAA) Annual Training Conference, Mesquite, Nevada.  It is an important training program that COULD SAVE A LIFE!  I recommend having the course taught to FBI NAA chapters throughout the country and internationally.

Captain James Dillon, 1st Vice President – Nevada Chapter – FBI National Academy Associates

I attended the Nebraska CISM conference when you spoke this summer about The Pain Behind the Badge. And I attended a debriefing today where a former deputy, ( he was let go in March) took his own life in his home with family upstairs.   All the way to the debriefing today I thought about your presentation and I wanted to personally thank you for being able to fall back on your words in order to help those involved in this tragic incident.  At first I felt out of place because I am not in law enforcement, but before we were done I felt more comfortable with them and they with me. This is the second time I have had to help with a debriefing mostly of law enforcement. Thank you for coming to Nebraska this summer it certainly helped me today.

Shane Smith – McCook Fire Dept

Over the course of three days in March 2010, Clarke & Tracie Paris trained hundreds of officers from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended “The Pain Behind the Badge” presentation proved that this type of training is truly necessary. Too frequently the subject matter of depression and suicide, as it relates to police officers, is ignored until it is too late and we lose one of our own.Clarke and Tracie provide this impactful presentation in a most professional and heartfelt manner. I am proud to have been involved in hosting training that may save the life of a fellow officer. Everyone in police administration owes it to their officers to explore “The Pain Behind the Badge”.Thank you to Clarke and Tracie for sharing your experiences and for being truly caring individuals dedicated to this most important cause.

Lieutenant Andrea Craparotta, Training Coordinator – Middlesex County Police Training Center

I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to the men and women of the law enforcement community. Your commitment to drive the 5-1/2 hours to Mono County is an endeavor itself, especially in the winter time. After your 8 hours spent with members from not only the Mono County Sheriff’s Department but from four additional agencies your training had a definite positive impact. I spoke with several deputies over the next couple of days and they all had positive comments. I know you brought out issues that any officer could relate to and how to better understand how to deal with those issues when our cop stew is boiling over. One of the most significant comments I heard was from a seasoned deputy that told me he went home after training that night, kissed his wife and told her, thank you for always being there for him and being able to always listen. It’s obvious he has someone to talk to about the stresses of the job which is so important for our well being. I’m looking forward to both of you coming back again to speak with those officers that could not attend this training. Once again, thank you for your commitment to the law enforcement community and your understanding of the difficulties we all face no matter how large or small the agency.”

Rick Scholl, Sheriff – Coroner – Mono County Sheriff’s Office, CA

We had suffered the tragic loss of a police officer by suicide when I found “Pain behind the Badge” on the internet. The residual affects that a department experiences when one of your own takes his life is astounding. When we reached out for Clarke Paris and spoke about his program we knew he was what we needed to help us understand why this happened and start the healing process. Our department started to talk to surrounding law enforcement agencies about police suicide prevention training and soon over fifteen agencies were signed up resulting in over 700 officers benefiting from this training. Clarke presents this critical training to police on personal level, by cops for cops. Everyone walked away knowing and feeling like someone cared about their well being. Clarke’s wife Tracy delivered a spouses point of view and again sent home the message that we need to talk about our pain and the experiences that the law enforcement profession subjects us to.  I know we saved someone’s life that day and that makes it all worth it!  Thanks Clarke and Tracy and “Be Safe”.

Kenneth P. McCormick, Director of Public Safety – North Brunswick Police Department

“ThePain Behind The Badge Seminar is a ‘Must have training’ for any organization from 2 officers to 20,000. Clarke and Tracie are a great team!”

John Schaffer, Sgt/Training Coordinator – Great Falls Police Dept, MT

“…In over 25 years of professional counseling, Pain Behind The Badge Seminar provided by far, the most impressive training I have encountered for any suicide prevention program. I found the training to be powerfully emotional and direct.”

Patrick Williams, E.A.P. Workplace Consultant – ValueOptions (State of Virginia)

“…On behalf of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office I would like to thank you and your wife Tracie for bringing your powerful message to Ft Myers. I must readily admit that reading information concerning your seminar, I mentally created an image of your program that, quite frankly, made for some very large shoes for you to fill. Without a doubt, you and Tracie lived up to our expectations.” “…Some of the comments made by attendees were: “I’m glad that I received this training at the beginning of my career. It gives me a good perspective of what I’m getting myself into.” “We are a close knit family here at LCSO and at times we may not be hearing what others are trying to tell us. This is great information.”

Sgt. David Drum, Lee County Sheriff’s Office – Training Division

The Pain Behind The badge is an outstanding seminar for all Law Enforcement employees and their significant other.  How refreshing for someone to also include communications as First Responders. Clarke recognizes the crucial role played by 911 Operators and Radio Dispatchers and acknowledges they are also potential victims of PTSD due to the stress of their job. The entire seminar is informative, interesting and is presented with compassion, concern, and understanding. Clarke and Tracie are an excellent team!

Evie Stubbs, Communications Supervisor

“…I have received fantastic feedback from those who attended your training. To have senior officers approach me and thank me for inviting you to speak for us says a lot about the message you provide and the way in which you present it.” “…I would also like to thank you for including your wife Tracie in the seminar. Her ability to connect with the participants of the class is incredible: it truly puts a personal touch in the training to have a wife who has lived through the struggles of being married to a Law Enforcement Officer and to share the message with others.”

Sgt. Thomas R. Gallemore – Virginia Tech Police Department

In my 26 years of working as a Registered Nurse/Flight Nurse, I have lost close to 30 friends and colleagues, most of which to suicide from stress from the job. Clarke and Tracie’s presentation focuses on Police PTSD related suicide, however, I feel that this is EXTREMELY relevant to any and all Emergency Department/EMS/ and Fire personnel. Too often, there is the feeling that to take care of others, there cannot be any problems within ourselves. We let ourselves succumb to pain, stress and detachment from our work, our friends and our family, and ultimately contemplate or even follow through with the only way out that seems feasible—suicide. The Pain Behind The Badge is a powerful, informative, enlightening program that can bring relief, freedom from struggle, and, most importantly, HOPE to anyone who is dealing with stresses endured by the professions entrusted with taking care of others.

Tracy Thompson, RN

“…I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the outstanding presentation of ‘The Pain Behind The Badge’ you presented on December 16, 2008 at Guilford Technical Community College, Koury Auditorium, Jamestown, NC, for over one hundred sworn and non-sworn law enforcement personnel.”  “…What a great presentation for spouses and significant others to understand and notice warning signs which may be prevalent, but sometimes are not noticed.”

Sandra Neal, Associate Professor – Criminal Justice Department – Guilford Technical Community College

“…I wanted to say thank you so very much for speaking at the 3rd Annual Law Enforcement Employee Assistance Program Conference. Your presentation ‘The Pain Behind The Badge’ was absolutely outstanding.”  “…Some of the comments that the attendees stated about your presentation were: “Life changing,” “Excellent,” “Fantastic and an inspiration,” “Provided great insight,” “Powerful and touching,” and “Best ever.” Your presentation was considered by everyone to be not only the best liked topic of our training this year, but that you were one of the best speakers they had ever heard. I personally agree with this opinion.” “…Clarke, I also want to thank your wife for her part of the presentation. Tracie’s presentation added another dimension and impacted everyone who attended. Tracie also showed that the traumas and pain we face as law enforcement officers also affects those who care about us.”

Corporal Govan A. Martin III, Manager, Member Assistance Program – Pennsylvania State Police

“On behalf of Barton Community College and the Lee Turner Lectureship Series, I want to thank you for an amazing two days of presentation. “As the coordinator for programming of the lectureship series, I search to find topics that will be beneficial to our surrounding law enforcement communities. Being located in the heart of the U.S. and rural Kansas, our need for valuable and affordable continuing education is critical. Your program hit the mark on both counts – value and affordability! “I knew immediately, before the program was even presented, that we had found a topic that was needed. The response to registration was immediate and overwhelming. Here are some evaluation comments received from attendees:

– ‘Interesting. Realistic, eye opening’

– ‘Beneficial and reassuring’

– ‘Excellent and very beneficial! The information presented as so useful. I was glad for the class and so were the two new officers that I brought with me. The topic will help new & experienced officers learn to cope w/police work.’

– ‘Very good! Great program!! Clarke has touched on an often ignored area/part of law enforcement & should be commended for that!’

– ‘Very worthwhile! This program was enlightening and I would encourage officers to check this program out. Very informative!’

– ‘Educational. Showed a side to law enforcement not normally seen or talked about.’

– ‘Great, rewarding, helped me a lot!’

– ‘Beneficial to officer health and a valuable effort.’

“Your passion for fellow law enforcement officers and this topic was apparent in both the documentary and your personal testimonies. Along with your professionalism, the entire program was one of the best we have ever had. “I would highly recommend your presentation to any and every law enforcement agency across the United States, no matter what size. From the responses we received, this topic is one that obviously need to be addressed.

“Thank you, Clarke, for bringing your program to our area!!”

Penny Zimmerman, Healthcare & Public Safety Continuing Education – Workforce Training – Barton County Community College (KS)

“Clarke, I want to thank you for bringing your ‘The Pain Behind The Badge’ presentation to Spokane. The information you provided was excellent and presented with heartfelt emotion.  I could tell that you take this topic seriously through the testimony that you provided throughout the day. It is important to realize what this job does to you both physically and emotionally. ‘The Pain Behind The Badge Seminar’ is a great reminder to all of us in this profession that we are not alone; that our thoughts and feelings are shared by so many of our brothers and sisters. Many of the deputies that work for us commented on how powerful the message was. They too, wanted to extend a thank you.”

Deputy John Oliphant, Training Coordinator – Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (WA)

“My officers obviously were able to relate to the scenarios you presented; I could see it in their body language and hear it in their comments and questions during class. It was interesting to see that tenure didn’t matter either, the 2-year officers seemed to appreciate it just as much as an old dog like me. “Thanks for bringing this “reality of policing” to us. We will never know how many careers, or lives, you may have saved.”

Randy Oaks, Chief of Police – Prescott Police Department (AZ)

“This training softens even the most hardened officers and helps them understand that the cumulative stress of this job is dangerous and failing to take any action to get help sets them on a road to illness, unhappiness and even worse. Every member of my staff walked away from this training understanding the dangers of the cumulative stress of this job and with the resources to get the help they might need. “This training exceeded my expectation, I am thankful to you both for the wonderful job of presenting this important topic. GREAT JOB.”

Timmy J. Currier, Chief of Police – Massena Police Department (NY)

My name is Jennifer Amato and I am the managing editor of the North and South Brunswick Sentinel, part of Greater Media Newspapers in Central New Jersey. I was privileged enough to attend ‘The Pain Behind The Badge’ seminar, held March 18th at Middlesex County College in Edison, NJ. As a mere spectator/reporter and not someone personally involved in law enforcement, I was deeply affected by the presentation nonetheless. From the personal accounts of Sgt. Paris to the audio recording of traumatic police situations, to the movie clips, I almost felt like I knew what it was like to be an officer. However, the reality is, I had no idea before this seminar what it actually meant to be an officer. Not that I truly understand it now because I am not on the inside, but I do have a better idea. I am friendly with quite a few policemen , and they are always so kind, friendly and calm with me that-ignorantly or not- never realized the internal demons that they may be confronting on a daily basis. In fact, listening to all of the ‘Pain Behind The Badge’ segments about Post Traumatic Stress and suicide made me think back to two officers I knew who have passed away in the past two years, made me think of a couple of people who may be suffering from PTSD, and made me think of a good friend of mine, who is a reporter-turned-cop, who may, God forbid, wind up suffering from these ailments some day. As I stood in the back of the room, watching the front screen but also glancing at all of the different officers in attendance, I felt a sick feeling-my stomach felt heavy and my heart was pounding. As I watched a few men wipe away tears, my heart went out to them. We all expect policemen and firemen and other emergency responders to be our strength, to be our power, to be our protection-but who protects them ? If nothing else, I hope the men and women in the audience realized that they are not infallible , that they are not untouched, that they are not perfect-and that is perfectly okay. Just as important is the fact that anyone, as in any member of society at large, suffering from stress, trauma or distress needs to reach out for help. If a person commits suicide to escape their problems, they are then causing those same emotions for the friends and family they leave behind. Stress disorders should not be something to be ashamed of, but should be dealt with like any other illness. Since I am not the Edison reporter the presentation was technically not my “beat” to cover, but I am so glad that I covered it anyway. Sgt. Paris and his wife are dedicating themselves to people out there who are hurting, and the least those people can do is try to help themselves. ‘The Pain Behind The Badge’ can be titled ‘The Pain Behind Anything’ and hopefully more people will reach out to the resources they need.  I know, if need be, I will.

Jennifer Amato, Managing Editor – North and South Brunswick Sentinel

‘The Pain Behind The Badge’ Training Seminar was a wonderful and great presentation. The information presented was great for our PEER Support Team and their family members. Because of this training, we are now beginning a much needed ‘Returning Veterans Program’.  Thank you so much for a great seminar!

Officer Lisa Clayton, Employee Assistance Coordinator – Portland Police Bureau

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