In the Line of Fire: PTSD and Law Enforcement Officers
Syd Gravel is a retired Staff Sergeant from the Ottawa Police Service and is one of the founding fathers of “Robin’s Blue Circle”, a post-shooting trauma team that assists officers in working their way through the trauma of death or near-death work-related incidents. The Circle was first established in 1988. Syd has personally assisted over 40 officers survive near-death incidents over a period of 12 years.
Syd is a 31-year veteran of the Ottawa Police Service. In his book, 56 Seconds, he tells the story of how his life took a dramatic turn when he was involved in a shooting. He shares information on how he survived post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – as a two-time shootist, during his years of work as a front-line police officer. The book describes how his healthy survival was based on a solid foundation of peer support, friends, family and medical practitioners.
Syd Gravel was a keynote speaker at the First Canadian Forum on Traumatic Stress Conference, Surviving Post-Shooting Trauma, in Toronto, Ontario. He was a guest lecturer for Correctional Services Canada, on Wellness and Traumatic Stress, in Kingston, Ontario. He was the keynote speaker at the International Conference of Conservation Officers, Stress Management and its Realities, in Ottawa, Ontario.
In 2007, Syd was inducted as a Member of the Order Of Merit (M.O.M.) in Policing.
“In 1987, Syd was involved in a very traumatic incident in which a robbery suspect lost his life. The event deeply affected Syd. To his credit he developed a comprehensive Police Peer Support Network on dealing with PTSD. It is Syd’s legacy to the Ottawa Police.”
– Brian Ford, Chief of the Ottawa Police Service, 1993-2000.