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Improving Law Enforcement Resilience: Lessons and Recommendations

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2017
64 pages
This is a report on the October 2016 meeting of the Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW) Group, which met to discuss and develop recommendations pertinent to support for officer resilience, which pertains to the ability of officers to cope effectively with emotionally traumatic events and the daily stresses of work responsibilities.

In addition to summarizing the meeting's group discussions, this report provides case studies of the emotional impact of mass casualty events on first responders in Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and San Bernardino, California. Meeting participants developed recommendations for how to prepare officers for traumatic events and support their overall resilience by maintaining their physical and emotional health. Recommendations include 1) involving the whole agency in establishing wellness programs; 2) providing a variety of options for helping officers address their mental health needs; 3) making fitness fun by building teams so that fitness activities are a communal experience; 4) having annual fitness evaluations and regularly provide information on health risks; 5) creating a system that collects research findings on resilience, and use these findings to develop effective programs; and 6) developing comprehensive officer safety and wellness toolkits.

Date Published: June 1, 2017