Pete Elste is a Danbury Police Officer who has become a leader in peer support and crisis intervention. In this episode Pete shares his story of addiction, restructuring his path to recovery, and staying grounded. A resilient leader who has proven that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, Pete is an inspiration for his peers and anyone struggling with addiction who is looking for a resilient role model.
Pete offers real-world tips on how to be proactive and how to "check up" on yourself. Pete also discusses his roles as a Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, Peer Support Team member and Responder Wellness, Inc. board member.
We talk about how LEOs may think asking for help is a weakness. Pete describes having a multi-pronged approach such as having a culturally competent therapist and peer support, to maintain a positive outlook and sobriety by having a strong support network. Other topics include self-checks, buddy checks, job burnout and work/life balance.
Pete explains how to find personal satisfaction and happiness, how to make time for yourself and your family, and the importance of taking time to decompress after a shift. We look at how “the job” and excess overtime can be overwhelming, and how to take care of yourself and enjoy other activities.
We truly appreciate Pete's vulnerability and transparency in sharing his experiences.