By Safe Call Now Admin
At Safe Call Now we are so grateful for the men and women who volunteer their time to serve all first responders, retirees and their family members nationwide in their times of need. You will never know who they are or what they look like and probably don’t care at 2:00 am because you just need help. Our Peer Advocates are so dedicated to guiding you through your time of crisis that we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce them to you. They really are special individuals.
Hello, my name is Joe Palkovic, and I began working as a police officer in Frederick, Maryland in 2007. I have worked as a patrol officer, grant writer and program manager, hostage / crisis negotiator, DUI/DWI Instructor, patrol supervisor, and currently a supervising detective. I have also been an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police and currently serve as President of my local lodge. I live with my wife, 4 children, and our very unhealthy dog. I have been an athlete my whole life, and enjoy competitive distance running in my free time.
I became interested in volunteering for Safe Call Now after the first time I responded to a co-worker’s suicide attempt and began to recognize how much the job had changed me as a person. I started to read about the long-term effects of job related stress in the lives of first responders, and felt an overwhelming desire to pitch in to help my fellow first responders cope in healthy ways. I believe the people who work in this field are special people, and I want nothing but the very best for them.
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Published by armorupnow
Sean Riley is the Founder and President of Safe Call Now, a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide. Safe Call Now was started in 2009 after legislation was passed guaranteeing confidentiality nationwide for all who call the Safe Call Now crisis line that is staffed by current and former first responders.
Sean played baseball for San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration. He started his law enforcement career as a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff in 1987 and later relocated to Washington State in 1990. Sean spent over 16 years with the Kirkland Police Department. His many accomplishments include being a member of the International Homicide Investigator's Association, Homicide and Sexual Assault Detective, Interview and Interrogation Specialist, D.A.R.E. Officer, Gang Officer and Certified Training Officer. Riley is also credited with solving one of the first ever elder abuse homicide cases in the nation.
Sean's prominent career in law enforcement ended in 2005 when he could no longer hide his "secret" behind the badge. Sean threw away his almost 20-year stellar police career due to alcohol and drug addiction and was headed towards suicide to become just another unknown statistic. In addition to attending college for substance abuse counseling, Sean worked as a supervisor at a local treatment center where he witnessed many public safety employees coming in and out of treatment. Riley decided to do something about it. From his own experience, he knew that first responders wanted to come forward to help, but due to the stigma attached, they would not. Admitting to a substance abuse or mental health problem is perceived as a sign of weakness and could result in the termination from a noble career. By creating a safe and confidential place to reach out for help, first responders are now coming forward in droves from around the nation to better their lives, better their families and better their careers.
Recognized as a dynamic national keynote speaker, Sean travels throughout the country to share his inspirational story. Coupled with cutting edge, interactive training, Riley hits those once thought of as "taboo" or "controversial" topics head-on.
"Safe Call Now provides education, healthy alternatives, resources and a complete continuum of care to save lives and put families back together. Through a collaborative effort, Safe Call Now has discovered when you provide an opportunity for an individual to get their life and their family back, you get one great employee back out serving the public."
- Sean Riley, Founder/President
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