In the world of Instagram and social media, memes are a currency of sort. Some pages, like this week’s guest TenEight_Memes, just get it and they thrive. Agree or disagree with what Charlie has to say, his memes are still going to entertain you or they’re going to provoke you. And that’s exactly how this medium should be used, make ’em think, or make ’em laugh.
In his own words from his website, “In a time where police is a dirty word, the Ten. Eight podcast aims to shine lights on the police world to those, not in it and provide some light and humor to those who serve.”
To that end Ten Eight and The Things We All Carry have a very similar goal. I want people outside of our community to know the struggles and trauma we experienced as well as to inform those of us inside the community. Much respect to Charlie for his work and the goals you set for his future.
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Stack: Welcome to episode 47 of the things we all carry. In the world of Instagram and social media memes are a currency of sort. Some pages like this week’s guest 10, eight memes, just get it. And they thrive. Agree or disagree with what Charlie has to say. His memes are still going to entertain you or they’re going to provoke you. And that’s exactly how this medium should be used, make them think, or make them laugh.
In his own words from his website. In a time where police is a dirty word, the 10, eight podcast aims to shine lights on the police world to those, not in it and provide some light and humor to those who serve. To that end ten eight and the things we all carry have a very similar goal. I want people outside of our community to know the struggles and trauma we experienced as well as to inform those of us inside the community, much respect to Charlie for his work and the goals you set for his future.
A quick reminder to please help us build a community which not only recognizes, but supports each other through the struggles and recovery, reach out through firstname.lastname@example.org.
To offer support and share your story. Please remember to leave a review on iTunes and give a shout out to any first responder, you know, love or care about y’all enjoy the show.
Today we got ten eight memes joining us. Thanks for coming on the show. Hey man. No problem. Happy to be here.
Oh, and instead of calling you by ten eight memes, your name’s Charlie. So we’re gonna use, we’ll probably interchange the two, awesome. Where am I finding you today?
Ten Eight: Today, nowadays I am in Southwest Florida, but took me quite a ways.
I, not as bad as some people to get down here. was born and raised in New Jersey. My dad was a cop up there and then when he was retiring I was only like two or three. He was in the suburbs, but it was getting more and more populated and crime rate was going up, so he wanted to move us out of there.
He didn’t want me growing up in that ar that environment. So moved me to basically middle of nowhere in new. I know a lot of people when they hear New Jersey, they think of, basically the la of the East Coast, which is not the case at all. But where I lived, where I grew up in, in New Jersey, we had two traffic lights, bunch of farmland basically the garden of the Garden state.
So I grew up there. When I turned 18 went to college in Connecticut for a year, originally went for film and. it was going okay. That was when I graduated high school, that’s all I wanted to do was be a filmmaker. And I actually double majored in communications. I was like, I’m either gonna be a filmmaker or I’m gonna be into broadcasting of some type, but life happens.
Things we can’t control happened. So the economy crashed. I couldn’t get a loan to go for my sophomore semester, so I had to leave school during that whole time from graduation of high school to then my family move. down south. They moved to Florida for financial reasons, and they wound up in the greater Daytona Beach region of of Florida.
So I followed them down, it took a while to get there. I of went back up in, down to New Jersey a couple times and played in a band, did a couple things up there. But eventually, ultimately when my mom got sick, when I was 2021, I’d moved back home for. and I decided to go back to school and there were like more issues with that, but I decided to go back to school.
My mom passed away literally a week before I started school back up again. A at this point I ditched the whole film thing cuz I knew film was a self-starter kind of industry and I already did a lot of that with the band the year prior. So I was like, all right, I’m not doing that.
So I went for. And I was gonna be a history teacher, did one semester of student teaching, realize I didn’t like kids as much as I thought . That’s an important part right there. Yeah. Yeah. I was like, you know what, no, this is not the type of high school environment that I grew up in, so I don’t want to, I don’t want to work in it for the next however many years.
So I actually. I graduate, or I was graduating with my associates in history and I was going to, in my mind I was like, all right, I’m gonna be Indiana Jones. I’m just gonna travel. I’m gonna, check out all these cool places and just be a badass doing that. And I was accepted into the University of Florida and that was, that’s what I was gonna do, but financial reasons, again, stopped me from doing that.
So I kind. Went back to my little dead end job that I was working in the call center trying to figure things out. I was reading a book while I was working there and it was called tales of a Spy or something like that. It was by this guy, a retired c i a agent. And it was really interesting. But the big takeaway that I took away from it was he was a professor in Washington, DC for foreign affairs.
I was like, ah, that’d be cool. Be a spy. , so I changed my major a little bit and I reapplied to UF the following year for foreign affairs. And a lot of the prerequisites were the same, so I wasn’t really losing any ground there. And one of the, so I got into UF again, couldn’t go again cause of finances.
And I was like, all right, how do I make this cycle? going, and I was like, oh, I could be a police officer on campus, go to school for free, get my degree, and then I can continue doing what I wanna do. So I go to the police academy and which had always been in the back of my mind first with my dad.
And then I had friends that did the police academy and I kept asking ’em questions and just do it yourself. So it did, and again, this was just a means to an end at that point. And I was like, man, I. That’s my plan. And I did my first ride along and everything changed. It was, you know what, this is what I want to do.
This is what I’ve been searching for. This is the high. And so I did a couple of ’em. And then the last ride along I did was with the agency that I got hired by, and so that was in 2015. So for the next six and a half years, I just, I was a cop. I was a cop. Pretty big city, which was a major culture shock to what I grew up in.
Again, two traffic lights and no diversity or anything like that to a major city with millions of people coming for special events around the year, all over the world. And, but it wasn’t too bad. I, assimilated to it pretty quickly. Had a great time. And then my last year there, which was 2021, I had already made the decision to move across state to be with my girlfriend and start life over here, and had some traumatic things happen which we can go into in a little bit.
But just to touch on it real quick one of my partners, one of my best friends got shot in the line of duty and Next week, my sister, who at that point in my life was my only family, like direct blood related. My father had passed away a few years prior to that. She passed away suddenly and then a month later, the guy that got shot, he ended up passing away from his injuries.
And then two weeks after that, , I left the agency that I had been working for, Mo made the. Started to work the road again or started to train to go work the road down here. And a month into that, found out that one of my other buddies who was first on scene to that shooting, committed suicide. So that’s quite all the sudden,
Ten Eight: the chain.
Yes, absolutely. And so that was all within, what, three months I think and the day the day of work after. . So he committed suicide on a Friday. I was off. The next Monday I go back into work and we’re training, I’m still like getting prepped to go to the road, and I had a bad day of training, whatever.
And as I’m leaving training to go to lunch, to then come back to training, I get a text message about my buddy’s funeral arrangements, which at this point was my third funeral in three months, and I think that was when it hit. , just cuz up to that point I think I was just in shock. And I go back to training after lunch and I ask the trainers, the people in the training cadre if if I could have Wednesday off cause I have to go to my buddy’s funeral.
And that just of stopped everything, and they pull me to the side. They do a mental health check on me, which. . Now I understand the way they did it, but I, in the moment thought it was inappropriate. Just literally first words outta their mouth was, are you gonna kill yourself?
Stack: whoa whoa. Yeah, probably not the, that’s not the soft pedal entrance you want with that situation.
Ten Eight: Right. And . So I have a long story short that O, this conversation opened the floodgate and I, they were like, do you still wanna do this job? And I was like, I have no idea.
And there was a lot that led up to that, but I was like, I don’t know. And the one guy was like if you’re saying you don’t know, that means that you don’t want to. I was like, no, that means I don’t want to, that means I got a lot. That means, I don’t know, I’ve got a lot going on in my brain right now.
But anyway, unfortunately, and this is where I understand. public service organizations are just that, they’re organizations and they need to keep the wheel going. They need to keep the machine running. Exactly. And unfortunately, I’m, I was a brand new trainee at that point. I had no time to take for, anything.
I had no six sick time at all. I’ve only been there a month. So they’re like, unfortunately, you need to make a decision. Now. So I went home, talked to my girlfriend, called couple of mental health people that I’ve been working with through my page and everything, and basically was like, you know what? I came back and I was like, I can’t do this right now.
I, my mind and heart is not in law enforcement right now. So my chief and an administration very good on them. They’re like, listen, we. invested a lot of money to get you here. We don’t wanna lose you unless you don’t wanna be here. We’re gonna repurpose you, we’re gonna put you in dispatch. Are you cool with that?
I was like, that’s fine, whatever. And so for the last year and a half I’ve been working dispatch. And somewhere in all that , a subs subscript of all that, I started an Instagram page. 10, eight memes. That was all the way back in 2019. I started that. But we can talk about that in a little bit if you want.
But so yeah, I’ve been in dispatch for a year and a half. I also am now a member of our crisis intervention stress management team. And I of focus, I’ll be honest, and I’ve said this actually talking to family yesterday, like my focus at work is more towards mental health than anything else. Like dispatch is a way to pay bills, but.
Drive is the mental health stuff. So a lot of the classes I take now have nothing to do with dispatch and have everything to do with mental health and first responder wellness and I’m also now in school for psychology. The impact of the things that have happened to me has really changed the course of things.
Stack: Yeah. There’s, that’s a huge impact. And I think if, correct me if I’m wrong, and I apologize if I’m wrong, I, the conversation that I heard with you and the guys from Hero Doubt was about, the part of that was about the death of the coworker,
Ten Eight: correct? Yes. Yeah. So that, yeah. So basically That, that night, that incident played a major role into what had happened three months later when I decided to leave the road.
And it’s it sucks because, sucks for many reasons. But when my buddy Jason got shot I had taken about two weeks off to try to get my mind cause I was working that night. I was one of the few first people on. and took a few weeks off to get my mind went back to work.
I was there for three days and then my sister had a really bad asthma attack on the 4th of July, the morning after the 4th of July, like two o’clock in the morning, and she went into a coma, never walked back up. So then I took an additional three weeks off or something like that. . But when I went back to work after that, I was like, I’m going to work for Jason.
Like everything that, Jason stood for and everything, I’m gonna just push through. And I I wasn’t, I’m not a super cop. I wasn’t, super tactical or Mr. Swat or anything like that, but I was good at my job and I had a lot of coworkers who said even supervisors said, if we could have an entire squad of people built, we’d be okay because I was just a Rubik’s cube. I was good at everything. I could handle everything. Jack of all trades kind of thing. And then when I made the switch, which was influenced by those events because, and I’m still processing it all, but it was, I made the decision basically because I was like, This ain’t worth it.
Jason got shot and the guy that shot him, the reason he got stopped, if he got arrested and nothing else happened, if he just complied and got arrested, he probably would not have been in jail for very long. If anything. Again, I don’t know, but from what I do know, if anything, he probably would’ve gotten arrested for a felon with a concealed firearm.
I don’t even know if the guy had drugs on him, so he probably wouldn’t have been in jail for very. , that’s just the way the judicial system is. And, but because the guy did what he did, Jason’s not here anymore. He’s got parents that don’t have a kid, he’s got a sister that doesn’t have a brother.
He’s got friends that doesn’t have a friend. So I was like, that’s not worth it, especially because I made a move to start a family basically. So none of this is worth it. So for a long time I dealt with this problem of I failed. Jason, I failed my law enforcement buddies because I made this decision and I’m only now, and it’s, like I said, I’m still processing it, but I’ve only now come to the terms of no, I’m living still for him, I’m still honoring him and everything cuz if anything he wants me, he would want me to be happy, not miserable as a cop.
Yeah, that, that night definitely has influenced basically my entire life.
Stack: One of the things that stuck with me from that show was the conversation you guys had about, it seemed how quickly the department forgot about him. And I guess that was it for me, not being attached to law enforcement.
Obviously firefighters, we’ve, we’d lose people once in a while, just depends on the size of your department and the activity of your department, but we, it’s the same kind of thing. You honor these people. immediately after their death, but then nobody really speaks of them much after that. And is that what you guys found, or did you find that there was something more?
I don’t know, more sinister than that.
Ten Eight: There, there’s two different things with that. So my biggest issue is cops here, just generally speaking are just so toxic. , you’re these people that you would give your life for. You will bitch ’em out. You’re going to curse their name, you’re gonna step on them to get a promotion if it would suit your needs.
But again, you’re, we’re a family. Thin, blue line, all that crap. And whatever. You have administration who will. Throw copious amounts of nonsense paperwork at you in way of IA complaints and write-ups and things like that. Basically, teetering on the line of, is this person a good cop, blah, blah, blah.
And then an incident happens and you’re standing past the patch, shoulder to shoulder at a funeral. Bagpipes are going, tears are flowing. This guy’s a hero. This guy’s a hero. He definitely is. , but where was that six months ago? When he was alive and when you were calling him anf or writing him up, suspending him.
Where? Where was all that? Okay, so then the, from there, the splinter cell goes two different ways. One, administration runs with it and goes, this is our hero, this is our guy. We’re gonna, retire his call sign, we’re putting his car into a hall of fame. They did all those things for Jason.
Amazing. He deserved every single ounce of that. He died doing what he loved, which was trying to get bad guys off the road, but again where was that? Six months ago? But they’re running with that, and then Yes, you’ve got.
I guess this is just the way cookie crumbles, right? Again, the organization has to go on once a year we’re gonna put a rose by his name on a board. That’s about it. We look at what has changed as far as department policy and procedure to make sure this doesn’t happen again. And you’re like, what’s happened here?
So with Jason, , he was stopping a car behind a apartment building in a bad area where we’ve had a lot of shootings and drug activity, and sure enough, he got shot. I don’t work for that agency, so I’m only talking by secondhand accounts and what people have told me. But now you’ve got people making encounters with individuals in bad areas, which where I used to work.
It’s mostly a bad area and. when they, when the guy takes off running, when the guy start starts fighting, they ask for backup and there’s crickets on the radio, and it’s like how is this even a thing? When Jason got shot and I took some time off and when I came back to work, it was a mandate that we rode to, to a car.
Now, staffing doesn’t allow for that all the time, so I get that. But we rode two to a car and then eventually that stopped. I’m not saying we need two to a car, but there needs to be some kind of. , some kind of thing we’re figuring out here where, we don’t put people in dangerous situation. Now the job’s gonna be dangerous anyway.
I understand that. But we need to do something to put the odds in our favor. And the fact that I, people send me body camera video of them calling for backup and there’s nothing on the radio. Or you hear a supervi, a patrol supervisor going, oh, they’re in a specialized unit. They’ve got enough people.
What? No. You send everybody, if I’m calling for help, the entire California better become, and I did a ride along years ago and I was working for a county agency and it wasn’t a big county. Like I know there’s some counties out in California or Nevada and all that where they’re massive.
This was not that big. And there was a cop in a fight and we were on the opposite side of the county. And I’m like, why are we not going? And he goes, oh, the fight will be over by the time we get. . Okay, that’s great. Let’s go lights and sirens and save this guy. And when they tell us to clear, we’ll clear. I didn’t understand that and that’s why I didn’t work for that agency.
You see that. And then the other thing that I was gonna say is that the new rank and file that comes up, right? The brand new guys didn’t really know, Jason didn’t know his name. Like they know that he’s the guy that died and that’s about it. And I was like, that’s terrible.
I don’t know. When I was in training, I had a, I had an F T O who showed me videos of cops getting shot and killed. And he is like, you you need to learn their stories. You need to know why. You need to know who they were. And not just like national stories, but I did those too. But he was like, he actually took me to my city’s law enforcement memorial.
He made me clean the. With all the names on it, and he is like, learn their names, learn their stories, figure out what happened, figure out why it happened. Not only just as a training lesson, but these people died doing what you do. You need to know why. And I feel like that, at the time I, I was like, man, fuck this guy.
I thought he was just hazing me or whatever, but it was something that, it’s a level of discipline and respect that I feel like is being lost on these younger guys where. If you’re a rookie and you’re in the agency where a guy died two years ago, you should know everything about him.
And it’s sad that’s not the case.
Stack: I was gonna ask if uh, so after an officer is shot like that and killed What’s the, is there a study done? Is there an investigation? What’s that investigate investigation process? Do they share those results with you? And like you said, is there change then that comes, or do they make a suggestion for change and it’s up to the, excuse me, the department to decide whether they can or can’t afford to do the change?
Ten Eight: I don’t know. I will tell you. From what I saw, unfortunately the case is still open with Jason’s killer. So I know there’s a lot of things that maybe haven’t been done yet or haven’t been said yet because they don’t wanna they don’t want to interrupt the legal process in any way.
I don’t, I’m not too sure, but so I’m not sure, and I’m not sure what changes could be made. The reason
Stack: I ask, the reason I ask is cuz we did, we had a firefighter that was killed in 2007 in my department, and they do what’s called a NIOS report. So they go in and they do an investigation and suggested changes come out from that investigation.
Some of the things that they talked about was a certain staffing ratio for fire engines and all our apparatus and it makes sense that you have multiple people on a unit, but. We’ve never met that change. We just accepted that, oh, it’s too expensive. We can’t do that.
So we’re not, we haven’t made that change, what is it, 15 years later now? We going on 16 years later now, we’ve never made that change. So that’s why I was asking if maybe, but if it’s an open, I’m sure if it’s an open process, maybe they haven’t gotten to that point.
Ten Eight: I don’t know. I’m sure the Florida Department of Law Enforcement did something.
I could only guess that, when there’s an officer involved line of duty, death, there’s gotta be something. There’s just gotta be because I couldn’t see them. Not right. Excuse me. And there’s different organizations I know out there that study use of force and study.
officer involved shootings and they study that. So I’m sure there’s something, but I’m not aware of it. We had a, my agency before, years before I got hired, we had an officer get killed. We I don’t know how many my old agency had, but we had quite a few. And, there, there were policies that were enacted from that one.
He was a motor motor officer and he was assisting. A traffic stop on the highway. Drunk driver came hit him on his bike and he died. And that became a new department policy. We do not go on the highway, we just don’t do it, especially motorcycles, but we just don’t go on the highway. Of course, life happens and emergencies happen.
And , I was one of the people, I was on the highway for something and I got hit by a careless driver. , destroyed my car and all this other stuff, but, so it’s, it is just, oh, we’re not even supposed to be up here. But I got the green light to go up there, and sure enough, I’m the one that got hit.
That’s just my luck. But, so I’m sure there is something, but I’m not aware of it. Okay. Yeah. And Jason’s passing was terrible and obviously in fact impacted a lot of people and. To know that my buddy Pat, who took his life on October 1st of that year, 2021 his his actions were directly related to P T S D from that incident through negative coping mechanisms from that incident and.
that is what kind of turned the lights on in my head and was like, this is the problem. This is, cuz I’ve been to Pat makes three law enforcement funerals for suicide and it was, at least I knew two of ’em pretty well. Pat and this other guy. , they were not the stereotypical depressed guy, right?
They weren’t around moping, they weren’t, just like this Eeyor kind of guy. No, they were happy, smiling, what, all that.
Stack: I’d almost argue that is the stereotypical suicidal person is that smiling face that they want the world to see. It’s, they’re hiding behind.
Ten Eight: It’s the sad clown, you know where you’re right. Exactly. Smiling on the outside and sad on the inside. So that became like my focus. Like I said, I’m now in in school for clinical psychology and. In my new agency, we had a detective take his life. And so it’s not getting any better.
Last year in 2022, suicide was the number one killer in law enforcement. I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head, but I know it was higher than , being killed by a gun, killed by a car, killed by Covid. COVID might be higher, but that’s a different story for a different ,
Stack: that’s a different political story right
Ten Eight: there, but yeah, so it’s the number one killer in law enforcement. And you look and you go, what is being done about this? And there are some things that are starting to turn, there’s many of organizations, there’s many pages out there talking about, which is. , even in Florida, we have written into our state legislature that each agency needs to have a CRI or I don’t know if it’s each agency, but there needs to be a crisis intervention team or a peer support team in every agency or locale or whatever.
Even if it’s like a sheriff’s office that’ll take care of the whole county. So there’s steps in the right direction. I just, they’re not, I definitely know that they’re not being utilized in the right way. And it’s unfortunate, but I. out of, again, the organization needs to keep running. They’re going to get there because they can’t keep losing people.
That’s probably what they’re gonna get to. But that has been my skew of focus a little bit, or a lot of it, Jason, obviously his sacrifice is monumental and all that. But Pat’s story was just so terrible that it kind. was the straw that broke my camel’s back.
Obviously I changed my career and changed my focus and it’s just, the more you talk to people, I get, I’ve got however many followers on Instagram and people reach out to me ever since I started talking about mental health and they’re like, Hey, I was involved in this incident.
It was really bad. I went I hesitated getting therapy, but now I got therapy and I go back and talk to my admin or something because I was on light duty cuz of the incident and. They’re blackballing me. They know I took, I went to therapy and they’re saying I’m unfit for duty and all this stuff.
I’m like how is that a thing? How would you go from, and not only that, but that’s the admin saying that the doctor that he saw is not saying that the doctor signed him up, said, Hey, you’re good to go. But because he went and saw help, now he’s being blacklisted from returning to duty.
And I’m like, how is that even fair? And, you want your cops to seek help and you want them to be, mentally well and, , you’re going to blackball ’em, like how? That does not make any sense. And then because they can’t fire you or they can’t discipline you for seeking mental help, they’re gonna go through and find the smallest PO policy violation and say, oh, you didn’t do this right?
So we’re gonna suspend you, we’re gonna kick you off this s r t team special response team, basically the SWAT team. And you can’t do that and you’re gonna be limited to this, it’s. You’re kidding me, right? This is, and it’s obvious that it’s all punitive for seeking the help, right?
Because everything was fine. And that is, that’s one story. But I’ve heard multiple stories where that’s the thing. And it’s again, when I say through the legislature, we’re trying to make these changes, but our department’s really utilizing it. And you go, eh maybe not.
Stack: There’s utilizing it and then there’s hiding behind it.
Or finagling behind the. .
Ten Eight: And we, or we have it because we have to, but that’s it. It’s because I know
Stack: in, in, in. Fire department, we don’t know what to do with our people when they come back from a mental health issue. If there’s a, I don’t, we have what’s called the if f center of Excellence. And it’s a facility for union people to go if they need some help. And it’s an inpatient facility, but a lot of municipalities, those people come back and they don’t know what to do with ’em, even though they come back with a transitional.
So tells you what, what you need to do to ease back into quote unquote real life Fire departments don’t know what to do because it the same thing as the police departments. They’re scared, or they’re just confused or they’re
Ten Eight: ignorant. And I can, again, I’m trying to, I’m.
Especially recently, I’m trying to look at everything from an organizational standpoint and I get it right, because if something happens with that person, with that individual that was in , some kind of therapy. . And then, so let’s say they get involved in an officer-involved shooting, then what’s gonna happen?
They’re gonna pull his docket. And even though psychology treatment would be. covered by hipaa. I’m sure there’s a way to get out of it or get around it, especially if you’re gonna be a defense attorney or something like that. And they’re gonna go, oh, this o this person was obviously still not fit for duty.
Right? And then you’ve got that windfall and it’s I don’t know. That’s such a, so where’s that fine line and where do you stand on that? Is it we want our cops to get mentally well, or we want our firefighters to get mentally well, obviously that’s gotta be the priority, but we need to figure out.
Okay. When is this good? Like, when do we not have to worry about any kind of ramification? Because he, he saw a dude blow his brains out, so he obviously can’t just go right back to work. That part’s fine. How what is the hard stop? Where we go? This guy’s good. We’re gonna put this behind us.
We’re not even gonna talk about it anymore. He’s good. And we need to, we need administrations to first figure that out and then stand with that. And I feel like right now, I don’t know how administration is in the fire world, but so many police administrations are just buckling to all the pressure that comes to ’em.
They’re just weak leadership. They won’t put their guys first guys and girls first. And the moment there’s like a little bit of, resistance, they go, oh, nope. You’re absolutely right. Mr. Prosecutor, Mr. Defense Attorney, he was wrong. We’re gonna punish. , no problem whatsoever. We got you.
Stack: So what’s, I haven’t seen that too many.
What’s the reason behind that? Is that a political thing? Is that a, it’s gotta be. So the administration is in a, is that a political spot that they’re in? Or they rank and file the administration.
Ten Eight: And this is something that came up. With my Heroed Out guys. Is that, so in, in Florida, I don’t know how it is everywhere.
So I’m only talking about Florida. But in Florida the sheriff position is elected, right? They do this. Correct. Same in Virginia. Okay. And a chief of police is an appointed position. Yes. Same thing now. Okay, so here is, you’re appointed by the mayor or the city council. And technically that’s a political job if you.
fall in line with what the police or what the city counselor or the mayor wants, they’re gonna remove you. They’re gonna find some of that will. And you look at big cities like New York, Philly, Chicago, all these, the police chief or the police commissioner is appointed by that mayor. So it’s a political job.
And I talked to on my show, I talked to a former sheriff or a current sheriff, a former chief of. who used to work in Philadelphia. And he said, he’s unfortunately, you may not like this whole defunding thing. You may not like the weaker tactics or whatever, but they’re politically appointed.
And so yesterday, just yesterday, last night, I made a post about LAP D. They uh, , , they banned the use of the thin blue line imagery on all of their properties, all of their police officers and all that. They banned it. And I put it next to a statistic of the violent crimes in 2022 in la and it’s through the roof.
It’s terrible. And I was like, that’s what you’re focusing on. You’re focusing on a thin blue line, not the actual crime that’s going on in your city. Way to protect and serve guys. And, but it is the administration is politically appointed so they, I’m sure. We’re told, or they have to fall in line with a narrative.
I don’t know. I’m not in the back rooms. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but you get these guys, you get the ones that do stand up for the people. And I’ve, again, I’ve had people, chiefs on and sheriffs on that do stand up for the people. They put their officers first and they’re great. But sometimes you get someone who may not be at the tippy top.
They might be. A captain, a lieutenant who’s a little bit of a rabble rouser, they don’t fall in line with whatever the political agenda is, and they get blackballed. And I’ve seen that too, where great leadership in the captain position, a lieutenant position, and you go, find out that he’s next in line to make chief, and then he doesn’t make chief.
And you go, what? What happened? He’s I’ve been blackballed. How is someone who is a pinnacle of leadership. Getting blackballed because he’s not falling in line with what the administra or, what the higher ups want. So they’re gonna find something small and they’re gonna run with it. Oh, you did this at a policy, or You’ve got this going on.
Sorry, we can’t promote you. And I’ve seen it and it’s frustrating. And then you get a mayor and as chief as a yes man. And then the cycle continues and it’s. . It all comes down to politics and corruption and it’s nothing new. My dad was a cop in the nineties and eighties and he told me that he retired as a sergeant and I asked him why he never promoted hire.
He goes, because it’s corrupt. He could. He couldn’t make any hire cuz he wasn’t in that crowd. So it happened back then. It’s happening now and it’s sucks.
Stack: What do you, I’ll segue into something cuz I want to talk about mental health in general. , what do you think are some of the barriers in PD for mental health?
Ten Eight: Stigma’s the biggest, and that goes from is the guy gonna be blackballed. is, oh, and I say guys, but I guys and girls, that’s me from being the Northeast. That’s just what we do. . I don’t
Stack: want people to think I’m missing. Yeah, no, I let’s hope people understand
Ten Eight: Yeah. So that’s the big one, is the stigma.
And, I’ve seen guys I’ve seen it, I’ve seen guys go out on mental health and they come back and oh there’s a guy, there’s a crazy guy right there. We don’t need that. And like I said, a little while ago, that starts beforehand. We bust each other’s balls and we give each other a hard time, but there’s a line and I feel like we cross it too much.
Where are we? Are we talking shit or are we being assholes to each other? And I think it’s becoming more and more apparent that we’re just being assholes. This is nothing is constructive, nothing. friendly about it. There’s microcosms of it. There’s little bits where we are being genuine to each other, but there’s a lot where it’s just nasty and a great example of this, and I’ve.
I talked about it on my show, but it, I never went public with it beyond that, like onto my page. But this most recent incident in Tennessee where the female officer and then the five others, got fired for the sex scandal. And everybody, and their mom is making memes about, oh sex, whatever.
And a lot of times they’re focusing on her even though there’s five other dudes that are just as guilty as she is. , you’re right. And. I made two comment. I made one comment and one meme about it. The one comment I made was, and th this kind of goes to my point, it was, she’s get, they got fired for something that happens at every PD all the time, right?
Sc sex scandals is not news. Sexual misconduct in police department is not news between infidelity and sex addiction and sex on duty. That’s not news. And so we got that, and then I made a meme about, . It was a very tongue in cheek one, but I was like, oh, police departments are all about diversity.
They don’t like this one, so what? What’s going on? That was a right. I never made a joke about who was involved in the sex or whatever. Okay, so you’ve got all these people, all these police pages, making jokes about this incident. Why? What is the good of it? It’s, I’m sure it’s impacting these people’s mental health.
I know it is.
Stack: So the why is because it’s easy fodder for ’em. Of course. It’s, yeah. That’s simple. Yeah. It’s, yeah. It’s low hanging fruit. It’s the easiest thing to pick and run with.
Ten Eight: But, a week ago, these people were our brothers and sisters. They were part of that thin blue line.
They didn’t do anything illegal. The worst thing they did was have it on duty, right? Everything else was perfectly fine. So if they got, if this story came, and not many people are talking about the fact that it was on duty. They’re talking about just that, she got her train ran on her and all that shit, which.
So what I know a lot of cops that do way worse shit off duty. Okay? So the only thing they did wrong was doing it on duty. They’re not criminals, it wasn’t illegal. They’re consenting adults, right? So why are we giving them a hard time? And forget when
Stack: obvious. Don’t forget there, there’s only in, in one situation, there’s only two people that know the truth and there they’re the ones that were involved in it.
Ten Eight: Correct? So my issue with all the memes, and I’ve got ’em all sent to me about five times each. My problem with all of them is, First off, pot calling the kettle black. Y’all are focusing on the wrong thing. And my biggest issue was during this whole thing, this whole ordeal two N Y P D police officers killed themselves within 10 days of this whole incident.
And not a pee. Nope. Nobody made comment about that. No one is, making 15 posts a day about why law enforcement officers need to seek mental help. No one’s making 15 posts about why, people are killing themselves. No one’s making 15 posts a day about sex addiction. That should be the story.
It should be, wow. What is causing this negative coping mechanism trauma it’s causing of course. Yeah. But no one’s talking about that. Yeah. No one’s making that. Or, why is alcoholism, no. I get it. And I was reading something last night that obviously people come to Instagram cuz they want to disconnect from all that.
They wanna relax. They want to enjoy. Cool. I know, I’m not saying every page on Instagram has to talk mental health, but you don’t have to bully people for shit that really, in the grand scheme was not that bad. So that’s a big thing is that we’re assholes to each other. The stigma for when we come back.
the organizational betrayal is major, which we touched on a little bit earlier. Those are the big ones, and just we don’t. in the academy, they always say, Hey, make sure you got a hobby. Make sure you got a way to, relax when you get off the job, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But we don’t really push that.
No. And then, and we don’t push like resiliency training in general. And everyone is oh, I’m not in crisis. I don’t need therapy. No that’s a great time to get into therapy cuz you can start working the ba the beginning and then by the time shit hits the fan, you’re all, you all set, the, you know what you need, all that.
And that’s always been not always. in the last few months. That’s always been my thing, is no, learn the tools now. So that way when shit hits the fan, and that’s like why we train in high stress situations. Yes. How common is it gonna be for us to be in an active shooter? Minimal. Very unlikely.
Unless it’s whatever, but very unlikely. But let’s train it so that way when it does happen, we have an idea of what we’re supposed to do and everything under that isn’t as difficult. , that’s how I feel about therapy. Let’s train for the worst so that way we get better. And you look at these people in the police department and their coping mechanisms are shit.
It’s drinking, it’s partying, it’s having sex. It’s all these things that we, instead of going, Hey the police department is gonna pay for y’all to go to a BJ J gym over here. Go ahead. All you gotta do is sign in the roster every day we’re gonna cover the bill. Could you imagine how big that would be?
Some you’ve got,
Stack: you’ve got Seminole
Ten Eight: County, Florida does it. They do. And one of the agencies that was near where I used to work, they do it too. And so it exists, but it needs to be more universal. Oh, it’s an amazing thought. Yeah. Like you’ve got organizations like Adopt acop, bjj, they will pay for.
Tuition up to a blue bill. That’s a great start of it, but why? Why does it take an outside entity to do that? If we really want to take care of our cops and our first responders? Let’s go ahead and. do it from, build that into your budget, build that into your budget that, hey, we got this officer wellness budget from the state.
Let’s go ahead and include that. Let’s include meal prepping service. Let’s include an on onsite counselor. There’s so many options. So I had a guy on, I had a chief, a police from Indiana, and he has, this is one of the coolest things that has come across my podcast and that I’ve come across, and I want it to be nationwide.
So it’s in Indiana. He has built into his PD basically an athletic trainer’s gym. So if you get hurt on duty, you go, you don’t go, you don’t wait for the morning and you go see the city nurse. No, you go right into the pd. You’ve got a physical therapist right on site, they’re gonna check you out, make sure whatever.
And then they’re gonna build a training program so that way you get back on for your injury. And they’re built around sports medicine because a lot of what. deal with fire too. Yeah. Is basically like sports related trauma, har hard hits and carrying a lot of weight and things like that. So they have people who are trained in doing that, in the pd, in the building to get you back.
And I think that’s major because how many times do you go out on injury and then you’re just sitting at home drinking, popping pain pills, and then what happens from there? The addiction just builds from there. . Meanwhile, if you get good therapy and good physical rehabilitation, there you go.
You, you cut out that problem. So to me, we need to focus on these healthier coping mechanisms. And push it to our people. Don’t just wait for them to have a crisis and be like, Hey, here’s peer support. We’re here to help. No, let’s get ahead of this and be like, Hey, first off, here’s your peer support team.
Here’s why you should talk to us. Here’s why you should trust us. And he, here’s some resources ahead of time. And then when shit hits the fan and you do a critical incident debrief and it’s oh, these people I know I can trust. They don’t just show up in the room and say, Hey, trust. , that’s not gonna work
Stack: And you’re talking physical injury as well.
And I, I would argue that’s what needs to be done for a mental injury, for a trauma, . And there are plenty of examples, and I won’t go into ’em cuz I’ve gone into ’em a few times on the show, but there’s many examples of our rescue, fire, and rescue guys go into a call and that, that has affected them.
And at that point, that’s a, that’s the point where a chief goes, you. You’re off for 12 hours. I need to have someone in here that whose head is in the game and you need to go get some help. You have, that should be termed almost a mental injury not a mental health problem. That’s a mental injury.
And there should be injury time given for something like that. And I know, right? Again, it’s the same, it’s the same barriers and money and staffing and everything, but there’s gotta be a way to do it. And because without doing it, you’re gonna lose people to these. ,
Ten Eight: right? Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve been on a few kind of dicey calls and
I, I this term has gotten so overdone. Just you good, right? And people are like, oh, just ask someone if he’s good and he’ll tell you, no they won’t. No they won’t. They never do it. Cause every time I’ve been asked you good, I’m like, yeah, I’m fine. I’m good.
Stack: My stock answer is, my stock answer is wonderful.
Ten Eight: Yeah. Yeah. Just dandy. I’m vertical and breathing, getting paid to do it. That’s, that’s stuff that I would always say. And so let’s not do that. But I’ve also, I’ve sat in enough critical incident debriefs and go, this isn’t working either, so we re here’s what we need. We need culturally competent people in these critical intended debriefs.
Right? Because you can’t, you can get, Joe Friday the psychologist to come in and be like, all right, no. How, let’s talk. , okay. You can do that, but if you don’t have someone with some kind of law enforcement backing , that’s not gonna work. They’re not gonna wanna talk to that person anyway.
So in the few that I’ve done more has been debriefed between each other than with the doctor. Excuse me. Yes,
Stack: I agree with that. And that’s where that Firehouse Kitchen table comes in handy.
Ten Eight: And police departments, they have a, the ones I’ve been to, we may have a kitchen table or whatever, but we don’t really get that kind of camaraderie.
Like my old squad used to have Sunday dinners where we would, Hey, hold on, non-priority calls if we’re gonna have dinner, and that would work. That would, that was okay. But it’s not the, I feel like that’s the exception, not the rule. And things like that need to really work on that.
And also like off-duty. Team building, that’s a major one too. That doesn’t involve alcohol. That’s the major thing, , because so many times you go to a bar and it’s okay. And every time I’ve ever done that, and I used to love choir practice, great time, but it always ended up in something bad, a fight, a car crash.
Just drama that didn’t need to be there. To the point where like the last couple times that I wanted to see my old buddies from my old agency, they’re like, Hey, you wanna go to the bar? I was like, no man let’s go play golf. Let’s go. Mini golf or something. Let’s do something that has nothing to do with alcohol or like golfing.
Obviously we may drink a little bit, but it’s not the main thing we’re doing and it’s a much better, healthier way to do it. And for squads, figure something out. There’s so many cool things to do out there, you got, you. , all these different businesses and opportunities to go out and do some team building that has nothing to do with alcohol.
Get people to know each other. The time when I first joined my first squad, at my first agency, I didn’t really know many people besides name and face. And then we did a they had Christmas party and I saw their families and I saw their wives and their kids, and I was like, oh, so this guy is a dad.
This guy is, I saw people in new light. And that changed everything for me. So if we do more of that and include families, that’s the big thing. Include families and because guys are gonna act differently, by themselves than with their families. So that’s important too. Include all that. Because also families, part of the Resiliency Pact, right?
Like that they’re massive in making sure we don’t kill ourselves, do all those things. And that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. I had a, I. What was he called? The number two for a sheriff’s agency out in Nevada and he would at least once a year, but I think way more, he would have his entire agency, everyone that could over to his house for a major cookout and, the family and the.
water and all, just had a great time. He is this is my way of checking in on everybody. This is not, an admin trap that, a lot of people may think it is. It is literally just come here, have fun, relax, get to know each other. This is all important in the team building. So that way when something happens, we feel comfortable talking to each other.
And also it like puts that fight in you a little bit more to like, all right, I know his kids, we need to get this guy home safe. , all those things just need to do it. And I get what you’re saying. Obviously the money, but you need if I’m the head of an agency and at one point in my career, I was like, oh yeah, I could totally be the chief.
Stack: No nobody who’s good for that job, wants
Ten Eight: that job, right? No, absolutely not. But if I was a chief, I would look at all my money and go, okay, what can I reallocate or something? Make something like this possible. And yeah,
Stack: don’t mis don’t mistake my argument about money. That, that I think that’s a good reason.
I just think that’s the convenient reason that they’re using Oh, absolutely.
Ten Eight: That’s all Abso Yeah. No. Absolutely. But it’s a real reason. Yes. So we need to figure out what’s cost effective, what’s gonna, and having, the great. Kinda the easy hour for these peer support teams is, oh, we don’t really have to pay them extra.
Maybe a little overtime every time we do a little debrief or whatever. So it’s not like we’re bringing in a consultant that we have to pay for or something like that. We’re not sending people out to anything and. . I don’t know. I’ve, now that I’ve been in a peer support team for a few months, I’m like, okay, we need a little bit more than what we’re doing right now.
Cause this, if a critical incident happened tonight, knock on wood, cuz I worked tonight, so hopefully not. If a critical incident happened tonight, , I know that the peer support team would be ill prepared to do anything about it. And that’s a problem.
Stack: I agree with that. I think that the same thing can be said for most agencies, fire, police, whatever, across the.
Ten Eight: Yep. My a former sergeant of mine who led the critical incident debrief of Jason’s shooting. She retired, she got her degree in psychology. She now works for a police department in Wyoming as the police based social worker. So something happens, they go talk to her and that’s her job. She’s a reserve officer out there just so she can keep her gun and badge and all that.
But she was a 20 something year police officer, retired a sergeant. took the mental health thing, ran with it, and now she’s helping cops in B f E Wyoming deal with mental health. And that’s where we need to go. That’s where, and she’s probably loving life. She, from, aside from the cold, she said that it’s exactly what she wants.
And she’s gonna get used to the cold, so that’s fine. But yeah that’s what we need. We need, and I know because the therapist I see as a retired. I know that there are cops out there who have gone this way and are willing to help other cops because something brought them to that mental health realm.
So they, they wanna help other cops deal with it too. And that’s the path that we, cuz what I was talking about, the physical rehab and stuff. That’s great. But yes, we also need the mental health in there too. , I always joke like the the show Pawn, pawn Stars. , where, you never know what’s gonna come through that door.
You never know what’s gonna come through that door in a 12 hour shift or however long, fireworks. So you never know. You might need someone on standby just to, Hey, have a seat, have some coffee, let’s talk. I told my niece this last night when I was driving into work, I was like, if that was my job, if I just had to be available 24 hours a day, have office hours, and just be there to help people, I would.
Happier than a pig in mud. I would be, go ahead. I’m all about just sit down. Let’s wrap, let’s have some coffee, let’s talk. That’d be great. And I think without being kumbaya and, hugging people, I think we can get there. I think we need to get there, the suicide rates and the mental health rates and the negative coping mechanisms, they’re gonna force us to go there, whether we want to or not.
So let’s actively push there. and see what we can do. So I
Stack: know you’re coming up against a hard end here cuz you gotta get to work this evening. Yes sir. I have a couple of questions I like to ask every everybody before they leave. But I want to extend another invitation to talk again cuz I had some questions I want to put out there to you and get a view from you and maybe have a discussion.
So if you’re willing to come on another time, I’d love to set something up later. Yes, absolutely. But for now what I’d like to do is I’d like to ask. And I know that the cops I’ve talked to have the same answer, so I know you’re former will go with former copy and dispatcher now, but. . I like to ask everybody about an everyday carry because I based the name of this show on a book that was by Tim O’Brien.
It was about Vietnam, and it was a platoon of Vietnam and it was called the Things They Carried. And it was it talked about what they took into war, but then it talked about what they brought out of war being the mental scars and the traumas and all that. So what is an everyday carry that you have, something you can’t leave home without?
Ten Eight: On my skin. I have tattooed my buddy Jason’s call sign. Okay. And a a cartoon from the band of Descendants. , don’t know if anyone Milo, I have him tattooed in my arm. Okay. So Jason went out and saw the descendants and he bought me a shirt. I didn’t ask for him, whatever.
So ever since then, I’ve always attributed the descendants to Jason. So on my right arm in plain view where I can see it every day, I. Three Charlie 77, and I have Milo and so every day. And I also wear a, his officer down memorial band on that same arm. So every day, I walk into work, I, wherever I’m always there, I’m always looking looking at him.
That’s it’s my why. It’s what I take into work every day. It’s why, how I live my life. So that would be what I carry. And in
Stack: relation to the tattoos, I check out the book Tattoos and Trauma sometime. See what you think about it. Okay. And it’s, I’ll look into that. It’s it’s by a he’s an assistant chief in Charleston right now.
Had ’em on the show and he wrote the book. And it’s just about exactly that, how people express their traumas and their healing through tattoo.
Ten Eight: And on, I just to cap that, I have a plan. I’m gonna get one for Pat right next to it, just to make that kinda like a, my little memorial for my arm.
But yeah, it’s just, as long as it’s where I can see ’em and I, all my tattoos, I think except for maybe one, are attributed to someone that I lost.
Stack: All right, so the next one is a book or something that, a book, a movie, a person just a suggestion to share with the audience something that would bring some value to their life.
Ten Eight: That’s a good one. Let’s see. I’ve, I just got an audible account, so I’ve been crushing that. There you go. Let me think of, let me think of one that really could entertain your guys. There’s so many, but in the light of mental health, I would say, You know what, I’ll do this one. I would say stillness is the key by Ryan Holiday.
Okay. Basically it’s talking about how important just being mentally still is and about like peace and calm, things like that. He’s a writer. He focuses a lot on stoic philosophy. and which is something big that he was the first stoic author that I read. And so I’ve run with it since.
But this one specifically, he talks about all these different stories in which people have battled bad situations. And he uses relatable topics. He uses tiger Woods. He uses Sean Green, former baseball player and just issues that they had and how they overcame it with stillness. And I feel like in our.
In our world, in our first responder world, always chaotic. Sometimes we thrive on that chaos, right? That’s why we do negative coping mechanisms. We definitely thrive on it, but which is what makes us good at our job too. But we need to remember to be still and calm. And there’s been many times, I’ve always been this, I’ve, I’m not one of these explosive type of people, but it’s helped me in times when I think that the world’s falling apart to just.
Take a deep breath and just go with it. So reading that book, I’m actually on my second reread of it. Just a good way to remind yourself that like, when shit’s going crazy, if you just look for stillness in it, keep pushing through.
Stack: Awesome. I appreciate the the idea and tell everybody where we can find you.
Ten Eight: So I am on Instagram at ten eight underscore memes. That’s spelled out. T E N E I G H T, memes, m e s. I have my own podcast. That’s gonna be everywhere you can find Podcast is just ten eight podcast. And let’s see where else. I’m on Twitter. I don’t really use that. And I’ve, I’m on a few other ones.
I’m trying to get into the whole YouTube game. Not there yet either, but. Those are the main ones and everything else links
Stack: off of there. Awesome. So on Instagram and then the podcast. And that’s I, man, I appreciate you coming on. I know you gotta get outta here. You gotta get some, get ready for work and get on the road.
So thanks for doing this. Thanks for hanging out and thanks for sharing your your experiences.
Ten Eight: Absolutely, man. And I look forward to
Stack: doing it again. Awesome. Cool. Take care and enjoy the night. Hopefully. Everything’s good, man. Take care. Thanks a lot. All right. Take
Ten Eight: care. Bye. And we’re out.