Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $6,700,000)
Officer safety and wellness (OSW) training, when properly conceived and effectively executed, has the potential to disable the cycle of officer stress; officer stress, when left unaddressed, can worsen police-community relations and can also impact the rising crime that has beset the work of law enforcement officers over the past two years and threatened public safety nationwide. Well-trained, supported, and physically and mentally healthy officers stand to become the catalysts of an alternative cycle of reduced stress, improved performance, better outcomes, and safer communities, thereby creating the shortest path to healthier police-community relations.
The goal of the VALOR OSW Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program (VALOR Program), a component of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) VALOR Initiative, is to provide state, local, and tribal law enforcement with TTA that has a direct impact on OSW. The proposed funding of $6,700,000 for the period of October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2024, will allow BJA to continue its strong presence in the law enforcement field of OSW with the ongoing delivery of the VALOR Program, managed by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research.
This proposal is designed to continue IIR’s support of the VALOR Program and includes the provision of on-site and virtual trainings, including Survive & Thrive, Executive and Mid-Level Leadership workshops, Train-the-Trainer sessions to help agencies implement their own training programs, and supplemental trainings to provide agencies with a customized response. This proposal also includes the development of trainings and resources for corrections and rural, tribal, and territorial law enforcement; the continuation of implementing TTA and resources for BJA’s Safer Together Campaign; and the establishment of partnerships with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, and the National Policing Institute. Additional deliverables include creating a tiered achievement system to incentivize agencies to participate in VALOR Program activities, developing proactive technical assistance plans for agencies that experience significant traumatic events, and potentially awarding microgrants to assist in the implementation or enhancement of an agency’s wellness program.
Curricula and resources will be updated regularly and translated into Spanish, as applicable. The most current and advanced technology will be used to develop effective TTA.
The ultimate intent of the TTA proposed as a part of the VALOR Program is to effect positive behavioral change in participants and support each agency’s effort to make OSW a priority.