CopLine understands that a career in Law Enforcement does not automatically mean volunteering with us will be a fit for everyone. We have set the bar high to ensure we provide the best available resource for police officers and their families. All prospective candidates are advised that not everyone makes it through the extensive training. We must ensure our listeners maintain a certain skill level capable of serving our callers. The service we provide to officers in the USA/Canada is unique and second to none and our volunteers dedicate more than their time, they give of themselves as they connect with callers in times of need.
Copline training was some of the most interesting and extensive training I’ve ever experienced. It wasn’t just the do’s and dont’s of answering a phone hotline, it was lots of intense role-playing, discussions, and stories from volunteer call takers. Once we completed Copline training, we each had a mentor (also a retired Copline volunteer) who critiques you on a few more phone call training scenarios before you begin taking actual calls. To me, the best part of the training was meeting fellow, retired officers who share the same passion and conviction to want to help active or retired officers who need a friend. As a trained Copline volunteer, I have heard and felt so many different emotions from fellow brother and sister officers nationwide who are struggling during these tough times. I’ve heard anger, cries of despair, confusion, uncertainty, and shared occasional laughs. Copline training prepares you for so many situations, but only you as the call taker hear and feel that particular Callers emotions. It’s tough, but extremely gratifying, especially at the end of the call when the Caller says “thanks, you made me feel better.”
What a tremendous training event and the personnel who taught the class each and every one of them was outstanding in every respect. I found the course to be challenging, emotional, and worth every minute. I gained a newfound respect for those of you who have been doing this and all your hard work and effort. Best training I have ever received on any subject any place.
When I first heard of CopLine from a training colleague, I was intrigued by the idea. Retiring after 35 years in a large law enforcement agency exposed me to a lot of crises. I figured that experience might be enough to allow me to ‘give back,’ and continue helping others in distress. The CopLine training was comprehensive, and the principles were different than what I had experienced throughout my career. No longer was I expected to be in ‘problem-solving’ mode; I was now expected to be a great ‘listener.’ Classroom instruction and role-playing prepared me well for my newfound mission. In fact, my first call sounded exactly like role-playing! Was I ever grateful for the CopLine training when I answered that crisis call! Being a CopLine ‘listener’ is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done in my entire life! And that includes 35 years in law enforcement, and 60 years of life!
I attended the Copline training course approximately one year after retiring. It was time and money well spent! The training was challenging and deviated from the problem solving we experienced as officers and taught us active listening skills with an emphasis on letting the caller arrive at their own solution through reflecting feelings and open-ended questions. The staff was amazing and very dedicated! My fellow volunteers were a great group of retired officers from all over the country. I made some very dear friends that week! It was an intense experience but as officers, we are called upon to do difficult things! I was up for the challenge.
Since my training, I look forward to my monthly opportunity to help a fellow officer or family member in need. It's rewarding and a way to give back to the profession that gave me so much!
Giving back to our brother and sister officers is a great Honor. While working we had each other’s back and trusted most of them with our life at times. It’s a good feeling to have a caller thank you for being there to talk with. To know that you may have calmed a person that was feeling upset over a relationship, or even saved the life of someone that felt so depressed they wanted to end it all, is a wonderful feeling. Those of us that are Listeners continue to serve the community. We’re serving the community of First Responder as Copline.org volunteers.
I think my biggest challenge was (is) that, as a cop, you’re used to telling people what to do and how to do it, giving reasonable and solid advice. It’s hard not to try to solve the callers’ issues. It’s also scary because you know on some level what the caller is going through but you don’t know for sure if you can make the connection. I feel a little exhausted, but also very good after a shift just knowing how important it is for the caller to know that we care about them and will listen with empathy but no judgment.
I just want to say that CopLine has been a great way to continue to have that police family bond. One of the things most retired police officers struggle with is the loss of camaraderie. Part of why many of us become police officers is because we want to help people in their time of need. What better way to continue to help those in need and at the same time continue to support our brothers and sisters.
It is also rewarding to mentor and help train new volunteers and help them prepare to work the lines. I learn something new every time I help out. Now, more than ever, there is a huge need for law enforcement to have someone to reach out to for help. Even if is just to vent, they know they are speaking with someone who “gets it”.
I am honored to be a part of CopLine and such a great group of people.
I believe that the privilege of being able to listen to a brother or sister officer active or retired or a member of their family who is struggling is an honor and a privilege. To give someone a glimmer of light in the darkness, hope is something we have been doing throughout our many years on the job. For me, I also wanted to give back to a career, a profession that gave me so much.
When I was invited to attend the Copline 40 hour listeners class, I was first grateful for the opportunity to serve active and retired law enforcement from an “ I am retired” capacity and from the comfort of my home! However, I also was taken back for a moment by the required 40 hours of classroom training, presented by professional psychologists, that I was required to attend and pass! I had not sat in a classroom training environment for over a decade, and 40 hrs listening to psychologists and guest speakers “well - I’m retired let's do this“ and just hope I can keep my eyes open.
It was not long that my eyes were more than open; my ears were more than listening, and my mind quickly went to overload! But, I quickly embraced this method of listening to cops in “crisis“ and had an appreciation for this presentation of information designed to enhance my 35 years of an acquired set of skills to serve the public to a more refined skill set to serve “Cops”! Yes, I did have something to learn, and the balance of taking in information and engaging in practical role-playing was well presented, and taking a nap in class was never an option or desired notion! Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
God Bless our trainers and mentors for their personal, sincere, and compassionate hearts to serve Cops through this forum and for the men and women who serve as professional law enforcement first responders - You do make a difference! I hope we can make a difference when you call!