Brief

National Survey on Officer Training: Executive Brief

Publication Date

August 2020

Author(s)

Jeffrey Rojek, PhD
Associate Professor
Michigan State University

Julie Grieco, PhD
Senior Research Associate
National Police Foundation

Chief Brett Meade (Ret.), Ed.D.
Senior Program Manager
National Police Foundation

Danielle Parsons
Project Associate
National Police Foundation

Abstract

The  modern  law  enforcement  officer  is  tasked  with  providing  effective  police  services,  achieving  mission  goals,  reducing  crime,  developing  lasting  community  relationships,  and  maintaining  safe  environments.  To  function  effectively,  officers  must  possess  specialized  skill  sets  to  cope  with  the  demands  and  pressures  of  the  profession.  Agencies  are  responsible  for providing relevant and current training to assist officers in developing these specialized skills and to meet department needs and community expectations. It is important to understand the perceived and actual threats officers are facing in the communities  they  serve,  to  identify  officer  safety  training  needs,  and  to  acknowledge  challenges  facing  law  enforcement  agencies. A strategic vision to address these challenges must be a law enforcement executive’s priority. In 2017, the National Police Foundation was tasked by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), under the BJA VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative with conducting a comprehensive survey of law enforcement executive perception of threats and training challenges experienced by police agencies throughout the United States. The effort provides data from which executives  can  make  more  informed  evidence-based  decisions.  A  survey  was  developed  and  sent  to  a  stratified  random  sample  of  1,514  state  and  local  law  enforcement  agencies,  which  represents  approximately  10%  of  the  law  enforcement  agencies in the United States. A total of 652 law enforcement executives (43% response rate), or their designee, completed and  returned  the  survey.  The  response  to  the  survey  captured  diversity  in  agency  size,  region,  and  type.  While  not  a  fully  representative  sample,  these  responses  provide  an  interesting  snapshot  of  what  agencies  are  currently  experiencing  and  expecting  regarding  officer  safety  and  wellness.  The  goal  of  this  Executive  Summary  is  to  present  notable  findings  from  the survey, provide an analysis of the notable findings, and offer considerations for law enforcement executives to increase officer safety and resilience, and strengthen officer wellness within their departments. More in-depth information is provided within the full report, and you can view the E-report here.

Research Design

Non-experimental

Research Methods

Surveys

Recommended Citation

Rojek,  J.,  Grieco,  J.,  Meade,  B.,  Parsons,  D.  (2020).  National  survey  on  officer  safety  training:  Findings  and  implications [Brief]. National Police Foundation. https://www.policefoundation.org/publication/national-survey-on-officer-training-executive-brief/