Training police leadership to recognize and address operational stress
A community-based agency developed training for Cleveland Police Department Lieutenants and Supervisory Sergeants. This training adapted current methods used by the U.S. Army to deal with military combat stress. Police leaders were trained to recognize signs of operational stress in their line officers and provide "Leader Actions" to minimize long-term sequelae of operational stress, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, absenteeism, resignation, and misconduct. Laminated pocket cards were provided which summarized warning signs of operational stress, self-care and partner-care actions, and leader strategies to treat early signs of operational stress. Based on focus groups with police supervisors, an incentive system was developed and implemented to reward officers seeking help or assisting other officers in managing operational stress, which could change the culture of keeping silent about problems and remove the stigma attached to help seeking. Eighty-three police supervisors have been trained, with plans to provide further training to district (precinct) commanders.
School of Social Work
Operational stress, Police supervision, Police training, Traumatic stress
Chapin, Mark, Stephen J. Brannen, Mark I. Singer, and Michael Walker. "Training police leadership to recognize and address operational stress." Police Quarterly 11, no. 3 (2008): 338-352.