In support of law enforcement across the country, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides scientifically based information and tools to support agencies in improving their practices and protocols to keep officers safe.
At OJP, officer safety, health, and wellness is an important focus of research, grants, and resources. The VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program, a training initiative sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), has provided training to more than 50,000 law enforcement officers across the country. The on-site trainings focus on four challenges to officer safety, health, and wellness, all identified through research: suicide prevention, vehicle-related injuries and deaths, assaults against officers, and job-related stress.
In April 2019, BJA partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to launch the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide, a groundbreaking initiative to raise awareness of the systemic barriers to mental health and prevent deaths by suicide among officers.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supports work to study and improve officer performance and safety on several fronts. NIJ has funded projects to prevent and eliminate officer fatigue and mental health problems while also testing and developing protective equipment for officers. NIJ has also developed the Safety, Health, and Wellness Strategic Research Plan to describe the current and projected efforts of NIJ to promote the safety, health, and wellness of police officers as well as other individuals affected by, or employed within, the criminal justice system.
NIJ first published a performance standard for modern police body armor in 1972 and has continued to develop and test body armor over the past 40 years. The NIJ performance standard is the only standard available to law enforcement. In 2019, NIJ published guidance for law enforcement to ensure they are buying quality, compliant products.
Vicarious trauma is an ongoing challenge for officers. It can leave long-lasting effects on those who are exposed to traumatic incidents or work closely with crime victims. The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit from the Office for Victims of Crime provides supportive resources for agencies to address the needs of their personnel.
When tragedy strikes, OJP is focused on helping survivors and the families of public safety officers. Administered through BJA, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program provides death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, as well as disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
Visit the following pages for additional information and resources produced or sponsored by OJP and other federal sources: