Online training for law enforcement is a great way to keep your agency on the cutting edge of crime prevention and justice. It can also save your department money on classroom space, printing, and trainers’ travel expenses.
Managing training is a daunting task for many departments. It can also take up valuable time that could be better spent on the job.
Stress Management for Law Enforcement Officers
Stress management is an important part of any health and wellness program for law enforcement officers. Managing your stress levels is critical for ensuring you’re able to perform at your best in the field and to deal with mental health issues such as depression or PTSD when they arise.
Stress can affect the body and mind of anyone, but it’s especially detrimental to police officers who must work with a variety of stressful situations. This can lead to a variety of problems for these officers, including depression, anxiety, PTSD and even thoughts of suicide.
There are several different stress management techniques that can be used to help officers manage their stress levels. The most common ones are exercise, talking with family and friends and getting help from a mental health professional.
Non-verbal Communication for Law Enforcement Officers
Effective communication is essential for law enforcement professionals, regardless of their job function or title. They must have the ability to communicate effectively with fellow officers, subordinates, higher-ups, community members, victims and their families, other departments and jurisdictions, and court systems.
Non-verbal communication includes gestures, facial expressions, and body language. It also includes the tone of voice and volume.
Officers who understand how to identify and interpret non-verbal communication can more quickly respond to citizen concerns. They can also better recognize the signs of deception and aggression.
Police also use these skills to gather evidence and confirm information during interviewing. Using four communication strategies, including focusing, paraphrasing, reflecting, and confronting, officers help pull together relevant information about a crime or conflict.
De-Escalation for Law Enforcement Officers
Police de-escalation is the ability to reduce tension, agitation and the potential for violence. There are many de-escalation tactics that officers can use to help diffuse a situation, but all of them involve engaging in discourse and communication.
This is an important component of any police encounter because it helps the officer to naturally de-escalate the situation and prevent a need for physical force. It can also reduce an officer’s stress level, which is critical to the safety of both the citizen and the officer.
According to the Police Executive Research Forum, de-escalation training can reduce use-of-force incidents by 28 percent and citizen complaints by 26 percent. Additionally, it can reduce the number of injuries officers suffer during confrontations.
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Critical Incident Stress Management
Critical incident stress management is a series of techniques used to prevent and treat stress reactions after traumatic events. It is designed to help people cope with the stresses they experience, and is usually provided by professionals such as first responders, mental health professionals, clergy, hospital staff, and community leaders.
One important part of CISM is critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), which involves at least one structured meeting with a trained professional between 24 and 72 hours after the event. It is a powerful way to reduce the effects of trauma and support the recovery process.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety offers free CISM training to any first responder (law enforcement, fire service, and EMS) in the state. This training helps people recognize the symptoms of stress, and also helps agencies build critical incident support teams and strengthen supportive environments within their departments.