Officer Wellness, Community Healing and Resiliency
All forms of violence, personal and community, have robbed America’s neighborhoods of a sense of connection, safety and well-being. In communities throughout the United States establishing positive relationships and long-term trust between police and community members is paramount to improving public safety, curbing crime, and facilitating collective healing and resiliency.
The Newtown tragedy placed into sharp focus the impact that these crises have on police, other first responders, and the communities they serve. The Justice Education Center serves on the Officer Wellness Committee of the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association. The Committee is creating a multi-year strategic plan to promote and support the emotional and physical wellness of Connecticut police officers and their families.
With the support of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, The Justice Education Center has established a national team of leading organizations and experts in the fields of law enforcement, victim assistance, trauma and healing. Given the increasing number of police officer suicides, this effort will include a suicide prevention hot line to be piloted in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The goal of the Committee is to create strategies to create and enhance positive police and community connections and to offer a range of wellness and resiliency interventions for police officers, community members and their families.
These strategies include: promoting a greater sense of trust between police and the communities they serve; reducing the number of police officer suicides and post-traumatic stress incidents through wellness supports and, expanding public safety career training opportunities for youth 17-24 years of age who are interested in law enforcement careers, with emphasis on cities and towns where the juvenile crime rate is high.
Working Group on Police and Community Healing
A Strategic Action Investment Plan
Building on best, promising and emerging practices and the recommendations of the National Task Force on 21st Century Policy, the Connecticut Working Group on Police and Community Healing will provide support to Connecticut’s communities and progressive law enforcement organizations to strengthen trust and collaboration, reduce crime and create healthy and safe environments for all of its members.