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Police deaths

Protecting Against Stress & Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement– Defining the Problem

October 2019
At this Research for the Real World seminar, NIJ brought together law enforcement practitioners and leading researchers 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. In addition, this gathering provided an exploration into what additional research is needed to best support officer health and wellness, potentially highlighting priority areas for future research.

How Best Protect Your Force Against Officer Suicide

May 2017
John Violanti, Research Professor at Buffalo, discusses the importance of making police departments aware that officer suicide is a problem. According to Violanti, police officers have a significantly higher rate of suicide than the general public. Reasons for this higher risk include the accumulative effects of trauma and stress.

Violanti describes steps police agencies are taking to help police officers, including teaching recruits what they may experience on the job.

Protecting our Protectors: Using Science to Improve Officer Safety and Wellness

June 2012

Each year, 100-200 law enforcement officers die in the line of duty. Last year, 177 lost their lives — a 16-percent increase from 2010. As Attorney General Eric Holder noted, this is a devastating and unacceptable trend. NIJ has developed a robust research portfolio to improve officer safety and wellness and, ultimately, save lives. This panel discussed some of NIJ's most promising work to reduce shooting and traffic-related fatalities — consistently the leading causes of officer line-of-duty deaths — and improve officer wellness, which is inextricably linked with officer safety.