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National Survey on Officer Safety Training: Executive Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2020
6 pages
This is a summary of the full report (NCJ-255109) on the methodology and findings of a national survey of law enforcement agencies conducted under the Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA's) VALOR Initiative to determine law-enforcement executives' perceptions of threats and challenges regarding agency training intended to improve officer safety and health.
The VALOR Initiative was established to increase officer safety and related training resources. In order to assist in the development of such training resources, the current survey was sent to a stratified random sample of 1,514 state and local law enforcement agencies (approximately 10 percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies), with a response rate of 43 percent. The survey solicited information on the relative impacts of various officer safety threats; agency training intended to improve officer safety; types of officer safety training needed in the near future; and constraints in providing officer safety and health training. The three sections of this report on the survey address key findings on officer safety threats, current training and future needs, and training formats. The selective presentation of survey responses is by agency characteristics (size, region, and type). Overall, survey results indicate that law enforcement executives throughout the nation are being challenged to provide current and relevant officer safety training while meeting the service demands of the communities they serve. The greatest challenge of delivering such training is to pay officers overtime to participate in training before/after shifts or on days off. In terms of training formats, the survey found that scenario-based training was the most popular. The report notes that in the academic field, there is a need to identify effective means for communicating research and data to practitioners.