Idaho State Police Grads Pick 'Stressful' Slogan

Idaho law enforcement officials say they are "mortified" by a slogan chosen by the latest group of state police academy graduates.

The slogan, "Don't suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it," was emblazoned on the Dec. 14 graduation programs for 43 officers who completed the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training Academy's latest course.

PTSD, short for post-traumatic stress disorder, typically afflicts people who have endured civilian violence, military combat and other extremely dislocating experiences.

"That's not something we encourage or condone," Jeff Black, director of the police training academy in Meridian, told the Spokesman-Review newspaper this week. "It shouldn't have been there. It was inappropriate."

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney, who attended the event earlier this month, pointed out the slogan to Black about three minutes before the graduation ceremony began, he said.

Apparently, no one attending the graduation event other than Raney complained about the slogan, but a photograph of the program was e-mailed anonymously to news media outlets throughout the state.

"We were mortified that it was in there," Black said.

Each class at the academy is allowed to vote on its own slogan.

The latest group, with officers bound for 19 police agencies around the state, included military veterans interested in issues such as mental survival.

"Our class president was ex-military," Black said. "It slipped in."

Black did not identify the class president but said future slogans would not be printed on graduation programs until they have been scrutinized by police academy leaders.

He said the embarrassment might be softened by Nampa Deputy Police Chief Leroy Forsman's speech to graduates on the importance of community involvement and of treating people with dignity and respect.

Black said that is the message new officers should receive in their training — not to go cause traumatic stress.