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CODE 9: OFFICER NEEDS ASSISTANCE
Law enforcement and PTSD: A deadly combination
You’re a police officer. You dedicate your life to fighting crime, fighting the war on drugs, putting the bad guys away, while trying to keep society safe. You wear your uniform and your badge proudly.
After several years on the job you see the worst that the human race has to offer. Your skin thickens and you become desensitized. You witness things that no human being should ever witness. Disconnecting from your feelings, is the only way to protect yourself.
Your job eats away at your soul........The days grow darker......
Your family and friends watch as you fade away. The nightmares are endless. You think back to the beginning, when you were told that you would be putting your life on the line. They said there was a possibility that you could get killed.
As you slowly pick up the gun to your head, did you ever once think that this is what they meant?
This powerful documentary explores the darker side of law enforcement as it documents the stories of police officers and their families who are now suffering the mental anguish of the careers they chose, which has led some to suicide.
I am the wife of a retired state trooper. When my husband retired from his 22 year law enforcement career all of our dreams of how his retirement would and should be turned into our nightmares. Little did we know that his years on the job would transform into the demons he battles today. I did not understand what was happening to him and watching his downward spiral was heart wrenching and it has torn our family apart. We now know that he suffers from job related Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
His story has inspired me to write a screenplay titles The Greater Good which in turn has inspired me and my producing partner Lisa Edwards to shoot this documentary about the men and women and the family members who love them. It saddens me to know how little our society knows about the struggles these brave men and women face during their years on the job and must carry with them into what should be their hard earned joyful retirement. What I find infuriating is how little the departments themselves do in order to help these men and women. This cannot continue. Their voices have to be heard in honor of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice - suicide.
Deborah Louise Ortiz
The Production Team
Dangerous Curves Productions:
Deborah Louise Ortiz -Producer
Lisa Edwards -Producer
Dangerous Curves Productions was formed by Lisa Edwards and Deborah Louise Ortiz. Lisa graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts from Whittier College and continued her theatrical and on camera/film education in New York City. Deborah studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Lisa and Deborah have extensive careers in film and theatre, both in performing and behind the scenes.
Lisa and Deborah met over 15 years ago on a film set and quickly realized that they wanted to form a production company that would help women writers/performers/artist, create and share their visions and voices, exploring the roles and real issues that face women today all over the globe.
Deborah has written three stage plays that were produced by Dangerous Curves Productions: Dirty Laundry, Changing Violet and Love in New York– How Do You Know? All three plays were performed on several New York stages including the Midtown International Theater festival. In 2007 Dangerous Curves was nominated for an IT Award (New York Innovative Theatre Awards -- celebrating Off Off Broadway ) for Outstanding Performance Art Production.
Code 9 – Officer Needs Assistance is Dangerous Curves Productions debut into the Documentary field.
Kurt Engfehr – Film Advisor
Kurt Engfehr grew up next to a steel mill in a working class suburb of Detroit. He settled in New York City where he worked at HBO, MSNBC and National Video Center (among other places) as a staff Avid editor. He edited promos and programs for Lifetime, CBS and ABC; he also created a series of short films featuring Chernobyl, the guitar playing penguin. Kurt was senior editor on Michael Moore's Emmy nominated show "The Awful Truth" (1999).
Kurt then segued from TV to film by working on Bowling for Columbine (2002) for which he won the American Cinema Editors award for best documentary editing. Kurt was co-producer and editor for the documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004), that won the Audience Award at the 2004 SXSW Film Festival. Kurt then decided he didn't need any rest and worked on Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). It turned out ok.
Kurt then worked on Seamless (2005) a movie about NY fashion directed by Doug Keeve, who previously made, Unzipped (1995) which most people found ironic considering just how much Kurt knows about fashion. He followed that up by editing Angelina Jolie's directing debut, the documentary, A Place in Time (2007). He was then co-producer and editor on the documentary Trumbo (2007) based on the off-Broadway play about Dalton Trumbo which uses his letters as the basis for telling the story of his being one of the blacklisted writers in Hollywood during the 1950's.
A string of producing roles followed, starting with Taking Liberties (2007) a UK doc about the erosion of civil liberties under Tony Blair that just had a theatrical run and garnered its director, Chris Atkins, a BAFTA nomination. He followed that up with a doc about the selling of beauty called America the Beautiful (2007) and Bigger Stronger Faster (2008) a documentary about steroids, cheating, and excess in America, and which was surely a big hit in the Selig and Clemens households. Kurt has also produced and edited the documentary No Manifesto (2009) about the band Manic Street Preachers, who Rolling Stone magazine called, the best band you've never heard of.
A slight career change appears to be under way as Kurt has accidentally begun to direct. He's just finished up co-directing duties on the film The Yes Men Fix The World, which was just on HBO.
Please Join Us in Supporting
The Badge of Life
An organization dedicated to helping officers suffering from PTSD and their Families.
Operation Warrior Wellness
An organization dedicated to helping Veterans with PTSD.
David Lynch Foundation