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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221175 Find in a Library
Title: Officer Safety Pyramid
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:55  Issue:11  Dated:November 2007  Pages:78-83
Author(s): John McKenzie
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 6
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the "Officer Safety Pyramid," which focuses officer efforts on 10 areas that will improve officer safety competencies.
Abstract: The bottom four blocks in the pyramid are "professional competency," "drive to stay alive," "teamwork atmosphere," and "physical fitness." Professional competency involves doing every policing task in a highly competent and efficient manner. This includes being thoroughly trained in the nature and use of police equipment and maintaining it properly. "Driving to stay alive" involves the safe operation of a vehicle, since half of police on-duty deaths each year are caused by traffic collisions. A teamwork atmosphere consists of a reliance on and commitment to beat partnerships, through which officers help one another deal with incidents assessed as risky. The pyramid's fourth foundation stone is physical fitness. Physically fit officers are better prepared to deal with the detrimental effects of shift work, and they suffer less routine injuries. The next layer of blocks in the pyramid start with "trusting your intuition." When an experienced and trained officer has the intuition that "things just don't feel right," then appropriate safety measures should be adopted. Another stone in the pyramid is a "willingness to learn," which means guarding against the assumption that one has no need for further training or advice on safer strategies and practices. "Self-awareness," another stone in the pyramid, means being in touch with one's emotions and reactions to stressful incidents and the adoption of appropriate stress-management techniques. Other stones in the pyramid are a "tactical mindset," which involves identifying potential challenges and developing contingencies before acting, and "communication skills," which can calm a situation before it escalates to physical combat. The top block of the pyramid is a "proactive attitude," which is the foundation of constant improvement in safety techniques.
Main Term(s): Police safety
Index Term(s): Communications; Physical fitness; Police attitudes; Police driver training; Police physical fitness training; Police professionalism; Police pursuit driving; Police safety techniques; Police-citizen interactions; Professionalization; Team policing
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