This is a report on the April 2018 meeting of the Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW) Group, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of law enforcement officers.
This meeting continued and expanded on discussions started at the OSW October 2017 meeting, which focused on line-of-duty deaths in felonious assaults and accidents, mental health and suicide, as well as crisis hotlines and other programs that address law enforcement officers' health and safety. The meeting was guided by presentations on research findings related to these issues. Recommendations pertain to ways to eliminate identified factors that contribute to officer line-of-duty deaths; improve officer access to mental health services; and provide training in effective coping methods that reduce suicide and substance abuse among officers. Numerous recommendations are outlined for addressing each of these issues important to officer safety and health. Participants also emphasized that officer families, community members, and various community healthcare agencies and their personnel can be key resources in conversations, program planning, and program implementation that improve officer safety and health.