Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,100,000)
Law enforcement is a dangerous profession with fatality and injury rates more than three times higher than the national average for all other occupations in the United States. To maximize the potential to reduce officer injuries and fatalities, the safety of law enforcement roadway operations must be a top priority. Roadway-related fatalities, including officer-involved collisions and struck-by incidents, account for roughly one-third of yearly line-of-duty deaths (excluding deaths from COVID-19), on average, and are typically as prevalent as deaths from felonious assaults each year. Furthermore, roadway-related incidents account for a significant proportion of officer injuries. Given the risk associated with roadway operations and the preventable nature of many of these incidents, interventions focused on improving the safety of officers during roadway operations are critically needed and have a high potential for reducing law enforcement injuries and fatalities each year. The National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program (NLERSP) is essential to effect significant improvements in officer safety and build cultures of safety within law enforcement agencies.
The NLERSP project team, led by the Police Foundation (dba National Policing Institute) in partnership with the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, will provide in-person and virtual training, customized technical assistance (TA), and resources to law enforcement agencies across the country to address critical roadway safety issues, such as traffic incident management, fatigue management, distracted driving, driver decision-making, high-speed pursuits, emergency response driving, and safety culture. Training sessions will be tailored to patrol officers, trainers, and executives to identify actions officers and agencies can take to improve officer safety on the roadways. Additionally, the NLERSP cadre of subject matter experts and researchers will provide on-site and virtual TA to agencies seeking support for policy development, training, data analysis, or implementation of best practices.
In response to the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s goals and objectives around officer safety and wellness, the NLERSP project team will: 1) increase the knowledge and skills of state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies regarding safe roadway operations, 2) identify and address current and emerging roadway safety threats, and 3) raise awareness of BJA’s officer safety and wellness programs, training offerings, and resources. Expanding on-site and virtual training and technical assistance deliveries, relying on the latest evidence-based and data-driven information, will further the NLERSP’s ultimate goal of reducing the number of law enforcement officers injured or killed on the nation’s roadways.
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