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Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW) Group Meeting Summary: An Overview of the Issues

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2011
15 pages
This overview of issues in law enforcement officer safety and wellness presents data on law enforcement officers killed or assaulted in the period 2006-2009 and the various circumstances in which such incidents occurred, followed by a call to action for law enforcement agencies in prioritizing the well-being of their officers.

This paper informs its readers that it is not an exhaustive list of current research, best practices, services, or training opportunities related to officer safety and wellness. Rather, it is a "launching point from which to raise national attention to consider and discuss the gaps in research, to recognize best practices, and to identify existing resources available to agencies so that they can preserve their most valuable resource - their personnel." The paper notes that fostering a safe working environment for officers, protecting their safety, and supporting their health and wellness priorities can be captured under four categories: leadership and management, operational and emergency responses, training, and mental and physical health wellness. This paper discusses priority issues under each of these topics. In a concluding statement, it advises that a starting point for discussing the complexities, available resources, and best practices for officer safety and wellness can be achieved through leadership and management, policies and procedures, training, and healthy lifestyles.