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Protecting Against Stress and Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement - Research and Practice

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2019
1 page
This 24-minute video - one in a series of four from a seminar - focuses on research and practice that pertains to the protection of law enforcement officers from the adverse effects of occupational stress and trauma.
This four-session seminar brought together law enforcement practitioners and leading researches in the field of stress to discuss the current research evidence and practical benefits of targeted stress-management interventions and how they can promote officer mental wellness. The portion of the seminar presented in the current video focuses on how to integrate the findings of research on law enforcement occupational stress and trauma into policy and practice that promotes the safety and wellness of law enforcement personnel. The members of the panel focus on ways in which the findings of research regarding how to relieve stress and trauma can be incorporated into the resources that law enforcement agencies provide their personnel. One issue addressed in the panel discussion is the traditional subculture of law enforcement personnel that views toughness and the suppression of disturbing feelings as the expected means of managing handicapping mental stress and persistent trauma. The panel discussion emphasizes the importance of developing an agency subculture that views anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, adverse coping mechanisms, and feelings of hopelessness as shared professional experiences that must be addressed with evidence-based agency policies and practices. Panel members discuss researcher-practitioner partnerships within law enforcement agencies that have resulted in improved ways of addressing occupational stress and trauma. One type of agency programming described is "mindfulness" training for law enforcement personnel. This is a program in which officers are trained in mental and physical exercises that have proven effective in developing healthy coping mechanisms.

Date Published: October 1, 2019