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Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW) Group Annual Summary: Issues and Recommendations for Improving the Wellbeing of Police Officers, 2011-2012

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2012
44 pages
This first Annual Summary Report of the National Officer Safety and Wellness Group (OSW) summarizes the OSW's research on officer shootings and vehicle safety, followed by recommendations for research, policies, training, and practices related to officer safety and wellness.
The report indicates that gun attacks that have resulted in officer deaths have been mainly due to ambushes or unprovoked incidents. Ambushes have caused the deaths of nearly 40 percent of the officers feloniously killed by gunfire in 2011, an increase of 41 percent from the previous year. Nine recommendations for addressing this trend are offered. They include ensuring that officers have the equipment needed to perform their duties safely (e.g., gun-lights, ballistic shields, vests, rescue vehicles, and thermal imaging) and providing better information to officers responding to calls, so they can recognize and assist the mentally ill and recognize and manage stress in themselves and their colleagues. The OSW also focused on emergency vehicle operation, education, and training, since the majority of officer deaths and injuries occur in non-emergency driving situations. OSW recommendations focus on crash reduction and driver distraction, the benefits of risk management, and an innovative learning approach called problem-based learning. The latter approach analyzes officer crash incidents in order to minimize the repetition of serious driver errors. 2 tables, 3 figures, and 46 references

Date Published: September 1, 2012