OSW Group Annual Summary: Issues and Recommendations Discussed for Improving the Wellbeing of Police Officers, 2011-2012 [open pdf - 5MB]
From the foreword by Bernard K. Melekian, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Denise E. O'Donnell, Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance: "This is a time of many challenges for law enforcement in America. We have spoken extensively about how agencies are working to manage shrinking budgets and personnel losses and the effects those changes have on public safety, but we must also recognize that these changes also impact our officers-- with larger patrol areas to cover, fewer backup officers, reductions in training, and increasing job stress. When these challenges combine with the daily work of serving our communities, we risk overlooking the needs of our internal community. […] The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to helping the law enforcement community protect those who serve and reduce the risks to health and safety that officers face every day. In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. requested that staff here at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Bureau of Justice Assistance to form a national Officer Safety and Wellness [OSW] Group. The OSW Group brings together law enforcement thought leaders, criminal justice practitioners, and colleagues to share their perspectives on improving officer safety and wellness. The group comprises representatives from law enforcement agencies and associations, federal agencies, and the research community who can impact public safety and officer health and wellness. This first annual summary brings together some of what we have learned from the work of the OSW Group thus far. It summarizes the research we have gathered on officer shootings and vehicle safety and presents recommendations the OSW Group has developed in the areas of research, policies, training, and practices in response to the risks presented by gunfire and vehicle operations. While not all-encompassing, this report provides a starting point for a national discussion on officer safety and sets the groundwork for the OSW Group's efforts in 2013 and beyond."
United States Department of Justice, COPS Program: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/