Mindful Policing—A New Approach to Officer Wellness and Safety Training and Education

Speaker at convention and Presentation.

Headlines calling for reform in police training are commonplace. Professional law enforcement magazines are filled with articles on reform, implicit bias, de-escalation training, fair and impartial policing, and public trust. Most of the dialogue centers around training officers in communication skills, bias, or force options. In 2014, officer wellness and safety was identified as one of the six priorities for law enforcement in the final report from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.1 In all of the dialogue, in all of the mainstream trainings, and in all of debates and town hall meetings, little consideration is given to what officers are experiencing physiologically or psychologically. Little consideration is given to what neurobiology and other science disciplines tell us about the impact of stress and trauma on the people behind the badge. It is generally understood that most law enforcement officers enter the profession to do good, to help their communities, and to fulfill a sense of service above self. It is also known that the law enforcement profession is stressful and often involves trauma and that chronic stress and acute trauma cause psychological, physiological, and social harm.