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Back to Archives | Back to October 2013 Contents 

Officer Safety Corner: Officer Safety and Wellness—IACP Conference 2013, Philadelphia, PA

By Ian Hamilton, Project Manager, IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness

Each year, the IACP conference’s educational program features an array of contemporary and thought-provoking sessions to inform law enforcement leaders and promote the public safety mission. The safety and well-being of law enforcement officers have always been a top priority for the IACP, and this year’s conference curriculum will continue to offer attendees resourceful information, best practices, and lessons learned in the areas of officer safety and wellness across various sessions every day of the event.

In advance of IACP 2013, this column informs readers about a number of important officer safety and wellness-related activities being held in Philadelphia. The IACP strongly encourages your attendance and participation in not just these sessions, but many others over the course of the conference:

The Benefits of Implementing a Police Wellness Program
Saturday, October 19, 2013
1:00 – 2:00 PM

This workshop explores how one police department created and managed a progressive and creative wellness program with the assistance of qualified medical experts. The chief of police will highlight the risks and the benefits associated with adopting such a novel program and its eventual outcomes. Medical counterparts will also be on hand to speak of their roles in the creation of the program.

Officer Safety: Traffic Operations Safety: Research, Technology Development and Outreach
Sunday, October 20, 2013
8:00 – 9:30 AM

This panel will address some of the ongoing research efforts, technology development projects, and outreach initiatives conducted by the federal government that address vehicle and traffic safety for the law enforcement and first responder communities.

Developing and Implementing a Fitness Requirement for Sworn Law Enforcement Officers
Monday, October 21, 2013
1:00 – 2:30 PM

A commonly overlooked aspect of officer safety is ensuring that officers maintain appropriate physical conditioning to perform their essential job functions. This presentation discusses the implementation of—and benefits that come from—a fitness requirement. Issues discussed will include topics such as the actual physical fitness requirements being implemented and the range of legal and liability considerations that emerge with such a program.

The Link Between Wellness and Officer Safety
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
8:00 – 9:30 AM

This session will help attendees clearly define wellness and understand its link to overall officer safety. Panelists will discuss how wellness considerations and initiatives can be emphasized and implemented at the organizational level through departmental policies and academy and in-service training. Attendees will leave the session with best practices that will help them keep their officers, agencies, and communities safer.

Pushing the Boundaries of Officer Safety and Wellness
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
1:00 – 3:00 PM

A featured conference plenary, this session will provide an overview of findings from a recently completed IACP-Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) multi-agency evaluation of line-of-duty injuries and highlight the value of departmental injury tracking. It will also include an overview of the IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness and emphasize the ways in which promoting safety and wellness at the organizational level improves the efficacy of the policing mission. Attendees will be provided with a copy of the injury-tracking survey tool used by participating agencies in the study, a comprehensive final report summarizing findings, and supplemental resources relevant to the study.

More information on the injury-tracking study can be found at

Improving Officer Safety and Wellness While Reducing Liability
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
8:00 – 9:30 AM

Panelists will provide information that agency leaders can use to implement officer safety policies, practices, and wellness programs while reducing liability risks and costs. Attendees will leave better informed on the range of legal issues that arise with the implementation of programs and the often unexpected costs associated with such efforts.

Your Participation

Officer safety and wellness is a fundamental component of the day-to-day mission of the IACP, and its work and resource development in this area extends well beyond the conference’s educational program. The mission of the IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness (the Center) is to address the inherent challenges in the policing profession at all stages of an officer’s lifecycle, including recruitment, early career, advanced career, and retirement.

In order to serve the law enforcement community, the IACP calls upon its experienced and diverse membership to provide recommendations, best-practices, and first-hand experiences pertinent to the area of officer safety and wellness. Please contact the Center at with recommendations, experiences, or further questions. For additional information on the Center and existing resources, please visit:

As you plan your schedule for Philadelphia, IACP strongly encourages you to consider being part of the above sessions. If you are unable to attend this year but remain interested in the topics and initiatives being discussed, please do not hesitate to contact the Center for session recaps and relevant resources. ♦

Please cite as:

Ian Hamilton, "Officer Safety and Wellness—IACP Conference 2013, Philadelphia, PA," Officer Safety Corner, The Police Chief 80 (October 2013): 10.


From The Police Chief, vol. LXXX, no. 10, October 2013. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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