To Pause and Protect
In a groundbreaking program, Oregon police officers are learning mindfulness techniques to deal with stress, be more focused on the job, and connect more meaningfully with the people they serve.
“Lieutenant Richard Goerling found that his mindfulness practice helped him be more patient at home, that it helped him deal with the stressors of his management position as a watch commander supervising two teams of 24 officers in total and as leader of the newly formed crisis intervention team, which focuses on responding more effectively to the needs of the mentally ill in crisis. It didn’t take long for him to begin to wonder how this could apply to policing itself. For instance: could mindful breathing help officers when they had to drive “code 3” to a call, with lights and sirens? Would being “present” help them handle calls involving people with mental illness? Would it help them with their own stress level?”