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BJA's VALOR Officer Safety And Wellness Program Trains Over 50,000 Officers

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The VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program, a training initiative of the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), has demonstrated its unwavering support for law enforcement by providing training to over 50,000 officers nationwide. To date, the VALOR Program has delivered training to 51,155 law enforcement officers across all 50 states in more than 540 onsite training events.

In addition, the VALOR Program in 2018 greatly enhanced its website, www.valorforblue.org, to provide a clearinghouse of training resources for law enforcement officers. It also launched an enhanced version of the VALOR Officer Safety app. Both the website and the app provide officers and their agencies eLearning opportunities, with secure officer safety and wellness training and resources at their fingertips.

"BJA's VALOR Program is dedicated to furthering the President's and the Department's priority objective of augmenting officer safety and wellness by providing superior training and resources for America's finest," stated BJA Director Jon Adler. "This top-of-the-line program spans the entire country and is drawing upon the best instructors and training curriculum to empower officer safety and wellness," added Adler.

The VALOR Program is the flagship program of the VALOR Initiative, which is designed to improve the immediate and long-term safety, wellness, and resilience of law enforcement officers by building lasting relationships among officers and their departments.

The program provides training and technical assistance at no cost to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies upon request. Its core curriculum focuses on four challenges to officer wellness, identified through research: suicide prevention, vehicle-related injuries and deaths, assaults against officers, and job-related stress.

On-site VALOR training is delivered by an elite team of subject expert instructors comprised of both active and retired law enforcement personnel, commanders, and executives who have on average 20 or more years of law enforcement experience. Since 2016, the program has received nearly $13 million from BJA to provide these critical officer safety and wellness trainings and resources.

Among the trainees for whom VALOR training proved instrumental was Commander Pat Long of the Thornton (CO) Police Department, who attended a VALOR Program training in Lakewood, CO, to help him transition back to patrol duty after eight years in investigations. Seven months later, he was shot in the line of duty. Commander Long credits VALOR training with helping him to survive the incident and protect his fellow officers in the process.

Another was Officer Charles Capelli of the Vineland (NJ) Police Department, who responded to an emergency call in which a citizen was bleeding heavily from a dialysis port that had been torn out. Based on lessons learned in a VALOR Program training, Officer Capelli applied a tourniquet to slow the bleeding until EMS arrived. Emergency room staff later told Officer Capelli that the tourniquet had likely saved the citizen's life.

The VALOR Initiative, now officially entitled the Officer Robert Wilson III Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability Initiative, began in 2010 in response to an increase in assaults and deaths of law enforcement officers. There are currently eight distinct officer safety and wellness programs under the VALOR Initiative, including the VALOR Program. The Initiative takes its name from fallen hero Robert Wilson III, a Philadelphia police officer who was killed in the line of duty responding to an armed robbery in 2015. We honor his memory and ultimate sacrifice through the VALOR Initiative and program training.

Information about the VALOR Initiative can be found at www.bja.gov/programs/valor.html and for more information on the VALOR Program, please visit www.valorforblue.org. Please stay safe and stay well!

Are you a recipient of BJA funding? If so, let us know how the funds have impacted your community and efforts.

Date Published: November 20, 2018