By Jennifer Tejada
Emeryville Police Department
Statistics on police health and wellness suggest police training and support programs have failed our profession. Police reform measures also seem to have overlooked a key ingredient in the matter of officer performance.
Policing is considered a stressful and emotionally and physically demanding profession. We have succeeded in training our law enforcement officers on the technical and tactical aspects of being an effective officer. We have provided them with the tools of the trade. We have put them through traumatic and high-risk scenarios to ensure they know how to be tactically safe, to ensure they survive without injury, or at least visible injury. But what about the invisible injuries? The emotional consequence of not just one traumatic incident, but that of a career filled with traumatic and stressful events.
Police reform measures are generally sought through trainings focused on external factors, or through the introduction of new legislation, policy revision, or new programs. Expecting change to occur is futile when we fail to address how the stress of this profession impacts the well-being of our law enforcement officers.
I believe we have failed in our approach to officer wellness and police reform because we have largely ignored two critical intrinsically linked aspects of our law enforcement officers; the relationship between stress and trauma, and resiliency. Read More & Share