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Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting Summary, October 2017: Officer Health and Organizational Wellness

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
52 pages
This is a summary of the meeting of the Officer Safety and Wellness Group (OSWG) in October 2017, which continued OSWG's examination of methods to support law enforcement officers' emotional health and organizational wellness, focusing on the continuing incidence of officer suicides and increasing number of felonious assaults.
The OSWG - which is composed of law enforcement leaders, researchers, doctors, and other stakeholders - also discussed emerging health and safety issues for officers, which was informed by new information and insights from practitioners and researchers. Among the topics discussed were strategies for improving officers' resilience to stress, the cultural changes required to reduce the stigma often associated with mental health issues, and the need to develop the capacity for data mining on assaults of officers. The OSWG identified 16 priority areas grouped into the following four main topics: 1) operational and emergency responses; 2) leadership and management; 3) mental and physical health and wellness; and 4) training. Topics discussed in relation to operational and emergency responses were injuries and death from gunfire, premeditated and unprovoked ambush situations, rifle and long-gun threats and assault weapons, federal and local task force operations, offenders' behavior and history during an incident, and court security. Topics addressed under leadership management were leadership and safety practices, equipment, deployment strategies, and communication technologies. Subjects discussed in relation to mental and physical health and wellness were fatigue, alcohol, weight, and nutrition; psychological health; maintaining good health; and former military personnel in law enforcement. The discussion of training focused on education and training, emergency vehicle operation and safety, and foot pursuit safety. Sixteen recommendations are offered. 1 table and 54 references

Date Published: July 1, 2018