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Healthy Officers Are Safer Officers: The Nexus Between Performance & Health

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2012
1 page
This article provides and overview of a closing plenary at an NIJ conference which took place on September 18, 2012 which examined how to keep officers healthy and safe.
On September 18, 2012, a panel of experts discussed some of the evidence-based practices and policies that law enforcement agencies can put into operation to reduce officer deaths and improve wellness and performance. Last year, 177 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty and 143 committed suicide. These deaths are devastating and unacceptable. The National Institute of Justice has developed a robust research portfolio to improve officer safety and wellness and, ultimately, save lives. The experts on this panel who discussed some of the evidence-based practices and policies included: Moderator Brett Chapman, PhD, NIJ Social Science Analyst; Panelist Bryan Vila, Professor, Washington State University, who discussed his work on officer fatigue; Panelist Karen Amendola, Chief Operating Officer, Police Foundation, who discussed the advantages and disadvantages of 8-, 10- and 12-hour shifts; Panelist John Violanti, Research Professor, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, who discussed the long-term impact of police work, including suicide; and Panelist Theron Bowman, Chief of Police, Arlington, Texas, who commented on how police leaders can incorporate these research findings into their management and day-to-day work. A webinar link to this event is provided

Date Published: September 1, 2012