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Law Enforcement Stress and Trauma Discussion Takeaways

John Violanti, Professor, University at Buffalo; Wendy Stiver, Major, Dayton (Ohio) Police Department

Panelists from the National Institute of Justice’s Research for the Real World seminar, “Protecting Against Stress & Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement,” provide their opinions on what they hope people will take away from the event. These takeaways are managing officer expectations at the academy level for the stress and trauma that they could face on the job and sharing research resources on officer resiliency with law enforcement agencies.

The speakers in this video took part in the NIJ Research for the Real World Seminar "Protecting Against Stress & Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement."

JOHN VIOLANTI: So research at the academy, I think, is essential and to take-- people should take that away; that when people come on to the job of policing, they should be, let me use the term inoculated, in sense of the expectations of traumas and stress they're going to have. A lot of young people who come into law enforcement they are not experienced in stress and trauma they've never seen this sort of thing before. The things that officers see for example are-- some of them are quite horrible and they need to be ready for that. And what I think is happening is they're not ready for that and organizations are not getting them ready for that, and that needs to be addressed.

WENDY STIVER: I think that we are starting to look at resiliency issues and policing a little bit closer, and there is an elevated awareness of things like officer suicides and PTSD. We're just starting to have these conversations. We're starting to see the impact on our profession and the hope is that we can align some of these research resources to our agencies to help actually get on the ground and make some changes before it's too late. There are officers out there right now that are suffering they're going through difficulties, some maybe because of personal issues and some because of things that have happened on the job. There are resources out there that could make effective changes for those officers or have an effect for those officers and not only save their careers but save their lives and their families. And I think it's just too big of a problem to ignore any longer.

Date Created: January 14, 2020