National Police Foundation, Partners host executive workshop to improve officer safety on the roadway

Law enforcement executives from several local agencies gathered to learn about tactics, model policies, and best practices for roadway safety.    

The National Police Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), recently held the first training session as part of the newly launched National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program (NLERSP), one of three programs launched under BJA’s National Officer Safety Initiatives (NOSI).

The NLERSP provides a suite of no-cost training, technical assistance, and resources to local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies with the goal of reducing the number of officers seriously injured and killed on the nation’s roadways.

The NLERSP offers in-person, interactive courses for executives, patrol officers, and trainers that teach attendees about the risk factors for officer-involved collisions and struck-by incidents and identify a variety of interventions and technological innovations that can reduce the likelihood of their occurrence. The evidence-based courses—developed by a national working group of subject matter experts from law enforcement, government, and academia—draw heavily from the success of the Las Vegas Police Department’s comprehensive crash prevention program, as well as widely-recognized traffic incident management (TIM) principles, to provide attendees with actionable steps, skills, and resources to improve officer safety on the roadways.

According to data collected from the Officer Down Memorial Page, 542 law enforcement officers were killed from 2009-2018 from collisions and struck-by incidents. More recently, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported 43 law enforcement officers were killed in 2019 as a result of traffic-related incidents. Seventeen of these fatalities were the result of struck-by incidents, and 12 involved single-vehicle crashes.

Between 2006 and 2018, vehicle-related fatalities were a leading cause of line-of-duty deaths. 591 of these LODDs were in motor-vehicle crashes. 175 of these LODDs were struck-by incidents. When combining crashes and struck-by incidents, 37% of the LODDs between 2006 and 2018 were roadway-related fatalities.

By focusing on individual behavior changes, safety leadership, and organizational culture, the program seeks to reduce line-of-duty fatalities and injuries by improving officer safety during traffic stops, emergency response driving, all-weather driving, and roadway operations.

In addition to the in-person training courses, the NLERSP offers customized technical assistance (TA) to agencies interested in improving their existing training, policies, procedures, and programs related to officer safety on the roadways. This assistance may include review and development of agency policies on roadway-related issues, review and assessment of an agency’s roadway safety training, assisting with the replication of best practices in agencies, or providing research translation services related to roadway safety research.

The next NLERSP training, designed specifically for patrol officers, will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, from 8AM-5PM in Alexandria, VA. For more information on the training or to register for the event, click here to view the training announcement.

Future training sessions (executive, line officer, and train-the-trainer courses) in other parts of the country will be announced as scheduled.

The National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, is a collaborative effort between the National Police Foundation and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research. 

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