American Heroes Radio

Backing the Badge: Critical Incident Support

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The December 11, 2014, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with Sergeant Gary Bush, Marion County Sheriffs Office (ret.), Detective Michael J. Saxe, New York City Police Department, (ret.), Dr. Alison Brown, CEO ENCOMPASS, LLC    and Mike Ohren, Vice President, ENCOMPASS, LLC.


Program Date:  December 11, 2014

Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC

Topic: Backing the Badge: Critical Incident Support

Listen Live:


About the Guests

While critical incidents are commonplace within the realm of law enforcement, providing an effective response is not. During the interview, we will explore a few scenarios that span the career of two law enforcement professionals; Sgt. Gary Bush (Retired Marion County Sheriffs Office/Polk County Sheriffs Office and Detective Michael J. Saxe Retired New York City Police Department) A couple that are typical/expected in a law enforcement career and the other, an atypical event that we pray will never occur again.  We will look at the effects this had on each law enforcement professional. Sgt. Bush had no CISM or Peer Support services offered. Detective Saxe had the services available. What are the results during and following each of their careers? Critical insight will be provided by Dr. Alison Brown and Mike Ohren, two mental health professionals and co-founders of BACKING the BADGE, the law enforcement Division of ENCOMPASS, LLC.  Sgt. Gary Bush and Det. Michael J. Saxe are the actual professionals that dealt with the situations that will unfold in front of the audience. Therefore, the narrative is very moving, personally and professionally engaging and atypical of most others offered.  This is a rare opportunity to see the effects that cumulative stress, administrative issues, and critical incidents actually have had on law enforcement professionals.


ENCOMPASS, LLC is an established company of over 25 years experienced in providing EAP services tailored specifically for your work environment; whether you are in healthcare, law enforcement, manufacturing or retail. ENCOMPASS professionals are experienced with all types of vexing situations whether on an employee (individual) or organizational level. ENCOMPASS strives to ensure maximum support and safety for all. Sometimes this means working in-depth with an employee or their family member or providing training and consults to a work group.


ENCOMPASS understands the uniqueness of the law enforcement profession, and the demands placed upon its officers. These stressors affect not only the officers, but can affect the officers spouses and families, as well. While many law enforcement agencies have existing EAP programs, one size does not necessarily fit all. To meet these demands and needs in the law enforcement community, ENCOMPASS has developed a new division called BACKING the BADGE. A team of professionals that include military veterans and former law enforcement officers have been assembled that are skilled in dealing specifically with the law enforcement community and their loved ones. Who better to understand what a police officer deals with on a daily basis than another officer who has walked a mile in your shoes?


Gary Bush Senior Director of Law Enforcement Relations                              

 Gary is an honorably discharged U.S. Army Military Police veteran. After his discharge, he spent over 30 years as a sworn law enforcement officer in the State of Florida. Throughout the course of his career, he served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Property Crimes Detective, Major Crimes Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Field Training Sergeant, and Special Operations Sergeant to include Community Policing, Grant Coordinator, and Traffic Unit Supervisor. He left active law enforcement in October 2008, and spent the next 5 years as the national metal theft spokesperson and National Law Enforcement Liaison for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries in Washington, DC. He also oversaw the day to day operations of a nationwide metal theft alert system which was responsible for over 13,000 alerts issued, 261 arrests/warrants issued and the recovery of $1.4M in recovered property. In May of 2014, he came on board at ENCOMPASS, LLC as their Senior Director of Law Enforcement Relations to help design and implement BACKING the BADGE as a much needed service to law enforcement officers around the country. Additionally, he is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Solution Focused Coach, and Certified Transformational Coach. He has also completed both the Individual and Group CISM course. He has also been an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police since 1980.


Michael J. Saxe Director, CISM & Peer Support Training Services 

Michael started his career as Firefighter in Nassau County, New York and then served as an EMT for the Emergency Medical Services, City of New York. In 1990 Michael began his career in law enforcement as a Police Officer and in 1998 he was promoted to Detective for the New York City Police Department serving in the Organized Crime Control Bureau. Following the tragic events on 911, in which Michael was a witness and survivor, Michael served as a Detective in the Employee Management Division, in the Early Intervention Unit. He was also the primary person responsible for CISM (on the peer support level) of all NYPD Detectives. (Specialty Units and the Detective Bureau) He has conducted literally thousands of CISM debriefings. He served on the board and remains a member of the Police Self-Support Group. He also served on the board of the NYS Fraternal Order of Police, state level, where he represented 30,000 law enforcement professionals combining positions of managerial, advisory, and supervisory roles. He is currently the President of the Marion County (Florida) CISM Team and the Co-Founder and National VP of the American Police Veterans. Michael was brought on-board as the BACKING the BADGE National Director of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and Peer Support Services. He is an approved ICISF instructor in several CISM categories.



Alison is Chief Enhancement Officer of ENCOMPASS which is a work/life, EAP and well-being benefit. ENCOMPASS provides confidential consult to individuals, groups and organizations on a state, national and international basis. Alisons background includes counseling in private practice as well as specializing in substance abuse education, diagnosis and treatment. Alison holds a Masters Degree in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Leadership Development. Alison first began her work in the field of EAP in 1984.


As Dr. Brown began to work more closely with law enforcement, her commitment and desire to assist law enforcement in effective ways grew. Not only do law enforcement professionals benefit as their overall health and well-being improves, but their families and communities are also better served.


Mike Ohren VP, Organizational Development & Training 

 Mike is the Vice-President of Training and Development service for ENCOMPASS. Mike has been an Employee Assistance Professional for over 20 years and developed and implemented EAP services for a major west Michigan hospital. Mr. Ohren assists organizations to conceptualize and author policies that improve morale and overall safety. Mike provides consultation and training services to businesses throughout the United States. Much of his work has been specific to creating high-functioning teams, prevention of workplace violence and conflict resolution/reduction.


His areas of interest and expertise include leadership and teamwork development, managing organizational stress and change, conflict management at work, and enhancing workplace communication skills. Michael is an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran and holds a Masters degree in clinical social work from the University of Michigan. Mike has provided numerous trainings to law enforcement and work organizations ranging including the development of Peer Support tools, information and resources.

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