Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy
A Nationally Accredited Law Enforcement Training Academy
Trauma Informed Policing and Self-Care for LEO'S
About the course
The NVCJA has joined a nationally growing trend to offer training on the impact of trauma and stress on law enforcement. A unique challenge for law enforcement is the cumulative effect of trauma and stress over the course of an officer’s career. This can result in physical and mental health challenges and can easily overwhelm one's coping mechanisms. This often leads to sleep and appetite disturbances, impaired relationships with friends and family, and even suicidal thoughts or actions. This course helps students to distinguish between PTSD, depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues which can impact LE.
The Trauma Informed Policing and Officer Self-Care class teaches each student not only new coping skills but gives one the opportunity to openly discuss how a LE career has impacted one's life. The course also includes training on mindfulness and meditation techniques which are being used by law enforcement in many jurisdictions across the country. The instructor, Leslie Weisman, has worked closely with the Arlington County Police Department, and comes highly recommended by those officers that she has worked with.
Students attending the "pilot" class in 2018 highly recommended that the one day class be increased to two days so more time could be given to the topic, as well as related discussions and techniques that are being taught. Training also includes presentations by LEOs and former LEOs with “lived history” of serious behavioral health challenges and paths to recovery.
Current topics covered include:
• ABCs of trauma – definitions; What is trauma-informed policing and why does it matter?
• Trauma, stress, cumulative effects on LEOs
• Suicide and stress for LE – statistics, strategies to mitigate risk
• Overview of role of nervous system in hypervigilance; PTSD, cumulative PTSD, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders
• How to sleep better…what to eat…Promoting wellness
• Corrections and trauma – what does trauma-informed policing look like in the jail setting?
• Mindfulness & Meditation for LE
• The Mindful Cop – role of vagus nerve in regulation, impact of the breath
• Gender, Age, Race – impacts within agencies
• Yoga For First Responders®
• Resilience, Self-Care, and Post-Traumatic Growth