Building Resiliency: A Protective Leadership Strategy for Increasing Performance

3d render of golden spring isolated on white background

“The strongest factor related to unit resilience is officer leadership…. Good leaders make a very big difference under high-stress conditions.”
—Paul Bliese, Colonel, U.S. Army

There is no doubt that law enforcement is a stressful occupation. The need to adjust and adapt to changing circumstances is continuous in law enforcement, and the ability to make a split-second judgment is critical to avoid unnecessary harm to the public, to coworkers, and to oneself. Police officers are exposed to physical harm, shift work, long work hours, victims of violence, and tragic events. In the wake of tragedies such as the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, the Orlando night club murders, the murder of five police officers in Dallas, the stabbing death of a London police officer, and other acts of violence and terrorism, it is important to address how to reduce the deleterious psychological aftermath on law enforcement officers who must deal with these tragedies.